Musical Content of a Sekaten Day

[This page is under construction.]

Presented here is a documentation of the gendhing choices made by the abdidalem niyaga during a single full day of Sekaten. The particular day that is being described here is an Akad (Sunday)-Kliwon (day in the five-day Javanese market week), the 6th of Mulud, 1951 AJ, windu Dal (a year in the eight-lunar-year windu cycle). It began on Saturday evening, the 25th of November, 2017 CE, at about 8:00PM, after the evening magrib and isa prayers that marked the beginning of the new day, and ran through approximately 5:00PM on Sunday, the 26th of November.[1] The pieces performed on this day, listed in the order of their playing and with reference to on which gamelan sekati they were performed, are found in the following chart:

TIME SALAT PATHET K.K. Gunturmadu K.K. Nagawilaga
19:58

20:30

21:00

21:37

22:12

22:39

23:03

23:28

MIDNIGHT 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lima

lima

lima

lima

lima

lima

lima

lima

Rambu

 

Rangkung

 

Andhong-Andhong

 

Rendeng

 

[8-hour break]

 

Rambu

 

Rangkung

 

Lung Gadhung Pel

 

Salatun 

[8-hour break]

08:05

08:44

09:07

09:42

10:07

10:34

11:00

11:23

11:26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

luhur

barang

barang

barang

barang

barang

barang

barang

barang

Kumandhang Barang 

 

Kongas

 

Kenceng

 

Ngendhuri

 

[break]

 

Supiyatun

 

Ngendhuri

 

Siring

 

racikan (interrupted by adzan for salat luhur)  [break]

14:02

14:32

14:52

 

 

asar

nem

nem

Lenggang Rambon

 

[break]

 

Atur-Atur (interrupted by  adzan for salat asar)      [break]

15:30

16:14

16:41

16:58

 

 

 

barang

nem

barang

Tukung

 

Bendrong (bubaran)

[end of day]

 

Lagu

 

[end of day]

The opening session of the day (from 8:00PM to Midnight) began, as do all Sekaten days (except Jumuwah/Fridays), with the playing of gendhing Rambu, first on K.K. Gunturmadu and then on K.K. Nagawilaga, followed by the playing of gendhing Rangkung on K.K. Gunturmadu and then on K.K. Nagawilaga. The other two obligatory gendhing sekati were then played, gendhing Andong-Andhong on K.K. Gunturmadu followed by gendhing Lung Gadhung Pel on K.K. Nagawilaga. There remained time for two further pathet lima pieces, the bonang player of K.K. Gunturmadu selecting gendhing Rendheng, his counterpart for K.K. Nagawilaga choosing gendhing Salatun.[2] Each playing of a gendhing was preceded by a performance of the racikan Pélog Pathet Lima that together (the racikan plus the gendhing) ranged in duration form twenty-four minutes (gendhing Lung Gadhung Pel) to thirty-seven minutes (one of the gendhing Rangkung performances). All six of the gendhing performed during this session are specific to Sekaten and to the gamelan sekati.

The following morning’s session included six pathet barang gendhing (one, gendhing Ngendhuri, performed twice). Only one of these pieces is Sekaten-specific (gendhing Supiyatun, which is the only Sekaten-specific piece in pathet barang). The other five gendhing belong to the large common-practice gamelan repertoire of Yogyakarta. Three of these are gendhing ladrang (Kumandhang Barang, Kongas, and Kenceng [Kumandhang Barang is a laras pélog pathet barang ladrang, but Kongas and Kenceng are laras sléndro pathet manyura ladrang]) and the other two are derived from laras pélog pathet barang gendhing with larger gong phrases (Ngendhuri from the dados section of the kendhangan Sarayuda piece by the same name with a 64-beat gongan structure; Siring from the dhawah section of a kendhangan Semang piece of the same name with a 128-beat gongan structure). Each playing of a gendhing in this morning session was preceded by a performance of the racikan Pélog Pathet Barang that together (the racikan plus the gendhing) ranged in duration form twenty-three minutes (gendhing Supiyatun and one of the playings of gendhing Ngendhuri) to thirty-nine minutes (gendhing Kumandhang Barang). An eighth racikan-and-gendhing performance was just getting underway when, at 11:23AM the adzan (call to prayer) for salat luhur was broadcast over loudspeakers from the Mesjid Ageng; only two minutes into the racikan Pélog Pathet Barang, the musicians immediately stopped and the morning session ended.

The musicians resumed performing at around 2:00PM for a short session of less than an hour in duration. Pélog pathet nem is the prevailing mode for this time of day, and both gendhing selections on this day were of Sekaten-specific pieces: gendhing Langgang Rambon and gendhing Atur-Atur, both preceded by racikan Pélog Pathet Nem. The performance of gendhing Atur-Atur was terminated in mid-course at 2:52PM by the adzan (call to prayer) for salat asar.

The final session of the day, from approximately 3:30 to 5:00PM, has as its prevailing mode pélog pathet barang. The musicians fit in two full racikan-gendhing selections—a lengthy performance of racikan Pélog Pathet Barang leading into gendhing Tukung (forty-four minutes), and a shorter presentation (twenty-seven minutes) of racikan Pélog Pathet Nem and gendhing Lagu.[3] Neither of these gendhing are Sekaten specific, the Sekaten version of Tukung being derived from the dhawah section of a kendhangan Semang piece of the same name with a 128-beat gongan structure, and Lagu is a pélog pathet nem gendhing ladrang belonging, like gendhing Tukung, to the common-practice gamelan repertoire. To close out this day of Sekaten, the bonang player of K.K. Gunturmadu chose gendhing bubaran Bendrong, preceded by an abbreviated playing of racikan Pélog Pathet Barang. Bendrong is a common-practice gamelan piece conceived of as being a laras sléndro pathet manyura gendhing bubaran, but it is also often performed in laras pélog pathet barang. By the time the K.K. Gunturmadu musicians ended their performance of gendhing Bendrong at 4:58 PM, the musicians of K.K. Nagawilaga had already departed from the Pagongan Lor. This day of Sekaten had reached its conclusion.