While carrying out research in Yogyakarta between August 1982 and July 1983 I attended live or listened to on the radio ten realizations of the uyon-uyon Hadiluhung ceremony. All ten realizations shared a common form as expressed in what I am calling sound-structures—realizations of one or more gendhing (gamelan piece) and/or tembang (vocal piece) as individual, bounded items that are ordered in relation to one another and that collectively create a distinctive form or identity for an event. The “form” of a Hadiluhung ceremony in the early 1980s can be summarized as consisting of the following sound-structure components:
1) Pambuka (opening signature piece). A single gendhing functioning as a signature piece associated with the arrival of the sultan (there are two such gendhing designated to serve this function–ladrang Prabumataram (“King of Mataram”) in laras sléndro pathet sanga, and ladrang Rajamanggala (“King Commander”) in laras pélog pathet nem). Both of these pieces are in the bentuk (gong-phrase structure) ladrang, use kendhang kalih (two-drum style) and the drumming pattern kendhangan ladrang, and are played initially at a fast tempo (irama 1) in the soran (loud) style but then slowed down (to irama 2) and quieted down to the lirehan (soft) style with female and male singers performing as a mixed chorus (kor). The same song-text, a poetic rendering of the full title of the reigning Sultan and a complete dating of his coronation, is used for both gendhing, making them effective indices of the reigning Sultan and clarifying his centrality, be he present or not, to the event taking place. The text for these two signature pieces and its translation follow.
Rinipta tinraping kidung (It is written in the narrative),
Wahyaning gita mengeti (in the form of this song to remind us),
Duk jumeneng Dalem Nata (of the elevation of the King),
Ngasta Pusaraning Praja (to rule).
Ingkang Sinuwun Hamengku (His Highness, the legal ruler over),
Buwana Nyenapateni (the secular world; chief commander),
Ing Ngalaga Ngabdulrahman (of the armed forces; the generous),
Sayidin Panata Gama (master over religion).
Kaliphatullah satuhu (Successor of Mohammed, The Apostle of Allah),
Kang sudebya angrenggani (who is sublime; he who resides in),
Karaton Ngayogyakarta (the Palace of Yogyakarta),
Kang kaping sanga minulya (the ninth [in the lineage], esteemed).
Ing hari Senen Pon nuju ([Ascended] On the day Monday-Pon),
Wulan Sapar amarengi (the eighth day of the month of Sapar),
Kaping wolu leking candra (in the year Dal),
Warsa Edal sinengkalan (With the chronogram).
Tunggal puji ngesthi Ratu (Tunggal puji ngesthi Ratu),
Winedhar angkaning warsi (which expresses the year),
Sewu wolungatus miwah (one-thousand eight-hundred),
Pitungdasa langkung juga (seventy-one).
Paringkelanya mawulu (On the day of Mawulu in the six-day week),
Ing mangsa kasanga akir (In the month of Kasanga of the solar year),
Galungan pawukonira (In the week Galungan of the 210-day cycle),
Windu adi kang lumaksa (In the windu of Adi).
2) Gendhing bonang. A single gendhing with a large, bi-sectional bentuk (gong-phrase structure, the first section called “dados”, the second “dhawah”) of the ageng, tengahan, or alit variety. This program item is performed in the loud, forceful, purely instrumental style (soran). The sparse, single-drum (kendhang satunggal) kendhangan (drumming pattern) and only the more condensed tempo levels (irama 1 and 2) are utilized. In parts of Central Java, large gendhing that have their introduction (buka) played on the bonang barung and that are performed in the soran style are called “gendhing bonang” or “gendhing bonangan.” I have never heard this designation used in the Kraton Yogyakarta, but that is what the gendhing appropriate for this slot in the Hadiluhung program are.
3) Lampah bedhayan. A medley of gendhing, lagon (instrumentally-accompanied mood songs), and tembang (unaccompanied vocal pieces) for the accompaniment of a palace srimpi or bedhaya choreography. Called a lampah bedhayan, such a medley is performed as though the dancers are present (the characteristic sound of the keprak, a rhythmic and signaling instrument used for dance accompaniment, is heard throughout these medleys), even though they are not for these events. These accompaniments are performed entirely in the soft style (lirehan) except when the lampah bedhayan is set to laras pélog. In this instance, the gendhing used to accompany the entrance and exit of the dancers are drawn from a special group of bentuk ladrang pieces called mares (“marches”), which are performed in the loud soran style using kendhang kalih (two-drum style) and a special drum pattern called kendhangan sabrangan (“foreign pattern”; optionally includes use of Western field drums [tambur] and wind and string instruments). Kendhang satunggal and kendhang kalih drumming patterns are used for the gendhing in the sequence, which are performed at only the more condensed tempo levels (irama 1 and 2). Separate female and male choruses perform the vocal lines of gendhing and lagon (mood songs), respectively. These accompaniments unfold in a calm and stately fashion.
4) Vocal selingan. A vocal piece (tembang), usually belonging to the sekar ageng or sekar tengahan categories of Yogyanese sung poetry, sung in a rhythmically free, melodically ornate style by a male soloist. No gamelan accompaniment is used. This element of the Hadiluhung program is labeled as a “selingan” (“interspersion, something scattered at intervals”).
5) Uyon-uyon medley. A medley of, typically, two gendhing, the first being a bi-sectional gendhing (with repeatable dados and dhawah sections) of the alit or tengahan size, the second a gendhing in either the bentuk ladrang or bentuk ketawang. This medley is performed in the soft style (lirehan) in accordance with the norms of present-day gamelan performance practice–expanded tempo treatment (irama 3 and 4), animated kendhangan batangan drumming, and solo female (sindhenan) and male chorus (gerongan) singing in the dhawah section of the bi-sectional gendhing. The ladrang or ketawang piece is performed in irama 2 with kendhang kalih drumming and solo female (sindhenan) and male chorus (gerongan) singing. The medley is framed by pathetan (purely instrumental renderings of lagon, or mood songs), and the bi-sectional gendhing is preceded by a bawa (a tembang performed by a solo male singer and that flows directly [ketampen] into the gendhing).
6) Vocal selingan. Another solo vocal piece (tembang) selingan, like #4 above.
7) Uyon-uyon medley. A gendhing medley similar to #5 above, except that the dhawah section of the bi-sectional piece is replaced with a gendhing in the bentuk ladrang. This medley is performed in the soft style (lirehan) in accordance with the norms of present-day gamelan performance practice–expanded tempo treatment (irama 3 and 4), animated kendhangan batangan drumming, and solo female (sindhenan) and male chorus (gerongan) singing in the ladrang piece. The medley begins with a pathetan (purely instrumental rendering of a lagon, or mood song), and the initial gendhing is preceded by a bawa (a tembang performed by a solo male singer and that flows directly into a gendhing).
8) Panutup (closing signature piece). A single gendhing functioning as a signature piece associated with the departure of the sultan. There are two such gendhing designated to serve this function–ladrang Tedhaksaking (“descend from [the throne]”) in laras pélog pathet barang, and ladrang Srikondur (“King returns home”) in laras sléndro pathet manyura. Both of these gendhing are in the bentuk ladrang, use kendhang kalih (two-drum style) and the drumming pattern kendhangan ladrang, and are played only at a fast tempo (irama 1) in the soran (loud) style.
Each of the above formal components of a Hadiluhung ceremony involving use of the available gamelans is set to one or the other of the two tuning systems (laras) of Javanese gamelan music—sléndro or pélog. Contributing to the overall form of a Hadiluhung event is that each successive gamelan sound-structure in the above template alternates between being set to laras sléndro and laras pélog. Each successive iteration of the Hadiluhung ceremony will flip the laras sequence of the previous one; a Hadiluhung beginning in laras sléndro will be followed by one beginning in laras pélog.
Clearly, even the simplified descriptions presented above of the sound-structures used for Hadiluhung events introduce many musical performance practice technical terms. It is not the purpose of this website to explain all the complexities of Javanese gamelan performance practice in a systematic way. What I will do instead is present here a recorded example of each of the above formal building blocks of a Hadiluhung program as performed on November 26, 1982, during an iteration of the ceremony that I attended and recorded. The gamelans used for this realization of the Hadiluhung ceremony were the gamelan sléndro K.K. Madukentir and the gamelan pélog K.K. Siratmadu. The duration of each program sound-structure is given in parentheses at the end of its title; the timing for the start of each component of a multi-component sound-structure is enclosed in carrots (<time>); the timing for the start of the second section of a bi-sectional gendhing, its dhawah, follows the word “sadhawahipun” in such a piece’s title.
1. Pambuka: Ladrang Rajamanggala, pélog pathet nem (5:10)
2. Gendhing bonang: Gendhing Galagothang<0:00>, sléndro pathet nem, kendhangan Jangga, sadhawahipun<6:12>, minggah ladrang Galagothang<14:04> (20:49)
3. Lampah bedhayan: Muncar, pélog pathet barang, kendhangan Gandrung-gandrung (42:33)
a) Lagon pélog pathet barang wantah<0:00>
b) Ladrang Gati Kumencar (kapang-kapang maju)<2:06>
c) Lagon pélog pathet barang jugag<5:18>
d) Bawa [unidentified]<6:37> katampen Muncar<8:04>, sadhawahipun<13:09>, minggah ladrang Grompol<20:47>, kalajengaken ayak-ayak<27:10>, slepegan<30:24>, wangsul ayak-ayak malih<32:42>
e) Lagon pélog pathet barang jugag<37:09>
f) Ladrang Gati Main-Main (kapang-kapang mundur)<38:23>
g) Lagon pélog pathet barang jugag<41:17>
4. Selingan: sekar ageng Pranajiwa, pélog barang (3:39)
5. Uyon-uyon medley: Gendhing Madyalatri, sléndro pathet sanga, kendhangan Condro, jangkep sadhawahipun, minggah ladrang Langensuka (32:41)
a) pathetan sléndro pathet sanga wantah<0:00>
b) bawa sekar [unidentified]<1:41>
c) gendhing Madyalatri<4:36> jangkep sadhawahipun<10:21>, minggah ladrang Langensuka<23:27>
d) pathetan sléndro pathet sanga jugag<31:53>
6. Selingan: sekar tengahan Pamiwaltung, pélog bem (2:28)
7. Uyon-uyon medley: Gendhing Genjung-Goling pélog pathet nem, kendhangan Sarayuda, ndhawah ladrang Genjung-Goling (11:49)
a) pathetan pélog pathet nem wantah<0:00>
b) bawa sekar [unidentified]<1:21>
c) gendhing Genjung-Goling<4:50> ndhawah ladrang Genjung-Goling<5:44>
8. Panutup: Ladrang Srikondur, sléndro pathet manyura (3:27)