Kyahi Sangumulya

Acquired: during the Reign of Sultan Hamengku Buwana X
Type of Gamelan: common practice–modern
Tuning: pélog

sangumukti gamelan
One of the three gendèr barung of the gamelan pair Kyahi Sangumukti and Kyahi Sangumulya.

The gamelan pélog Kyahi Sangumulya (“abundant glory”) along with its gamelan sléndro partner Kyahi Sangumukti (“abundant comfort”) are the two most recent additions to the palace’s collection of gamelans, the only ones to enter palace service during the reign of the Tenth Sultan. Both sets are modern common practice gamelans constructed in 1998 by the gamelan maker Pak Jumati of Surakarta. They are the only two palace gamelans the names of which are preceded by the honorific “Kyahi” rather than “Kangjeng Kyahi.” This distinction of rank is made because these sets have not yet proven themselves to be worthy of the label “Kangjeng Kyahi.” G.B.P.H. Yudhaningrat told me that only the sultan can declare objects as being worthy of the “Kangjeng Kyahi” honorific and status. My guess is that these gamelans will need to stand the test of time and that it is most likely a future sultan who will declare them as venerable inheritances from the reign of the Tenth Sultan. Gusti Yudhaningrat said that the pair of gamelans cost Rupiah 55 million (about U.S.$5,500 in 1999) and that a good share of the expense was picked up by the Coca-Cola International Co. in recognition of the effort by the Kraton Yogyakarta to protect, perpetuate, and share Javanese court culture.[1] It is interesting that the primary function of these two gamelans since their introduction to the palace context has been for music, dance, and puppet theatre performances scheduled and located so that the hundreds of tourists that visit the Kraton Yogyakarta daily can have a convenient encounter with palace performing arts. The performers for these presentations are not palace musicians (abdidalem niyaga), dancers, and puppeteers, but school and community music, dance, and puppet groups from around the Yogyakarta region who perpetuate the palace arts as they have been broadcast from the kraton over the past several decades. Therefore, the spirit of the recognition behind the Coca-Cola gift seems to be honored in the deployment of these sets in the palace. However, their current use is restricted to non-ceremonial functions of a public nature. When an occasion arises for the palace musicians to perform outside of the palace and for a pair of gamelans to be transported to a performance site outside of the kraton, this pair of “apprentice” gamelans that will most likely be utilized.

The instrumentation of K. Sangumulya is that of a modern common practice Yogyanese gamelan pélog. Its full instrumentation is listed below. No 19th century archaic instruments such as the slentho, the gambang gangsa, and the cluring are found in this set.

Kyahi Sangumulya and Kyahi Sangumukti are identical in their appearance and meant to be set up as a double, or sléndro-pélog, gamelan. Their flat surfaces are painted a dark brown with gold highlight set off against a bright red background. The main carving motif is vegetation (lunglungan), although on a number of the instruments the royal emblem of the Hamengku Buwana lineage is prominently displayed. The carving atop all the racks for the sets’ vertically-suspended gongs (gong ageng, gong siyem, and kempul) is based on a decorative panel that once graced the wedding palanquin of the Seventh Sultan and which, at least in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was on display in Bangsal Trajumas. The lambang is elaborated on these stand caps to include the number “10” in Javanese script below the entwined “H” and “B” to chronicle the sultan’s reign in which these sets entered the palace.

gong ageng (1)
gong siyem/suwukan (3)
kempul (6)
kenong jaler (6)
kenong japan (1)
kethuk (1)
kempyang (1)
bonang penembung (1)
bonang barung (1)
bonang penerus (1)
saron demung (2)
saron ricik/barung (4)
saron peking (1)
gendèr penembung/slenthem (1)
gendèr barung (2)
gendèr penerus (2)
gambang kayu (2)
clempung/celempung (1)
kendhang ageng/gendhing (1, shared with K.K. Sangumukti)
kendhang ketipung (1, shared with K.K. Sangumukti)
kendhang alit/batangan (1, shared with K.K. Sangumukti)
suling (1)
bendhé (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
bedhug (1, shared with K.K. Sangumukti)
rebab (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
siter (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
kemanak (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
kecèr (1, shared with K.K. Sangumukti)
keprak (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
tambur (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)

The two gong ageng (center, back), several of the kenong jaler (foreground), and one of the kenong japan (right) of the double gamelan K. Sangumukti and K. Sangumulya.