Five-tone Semara Pagulingan

Five-tone Semara Pagulingan

Our five-tone Semara Pagulingan set is our antique Semara Patangian set with a terompong, ponggang-kempyung, kangsi and grantang added, and the gender rambat removed. It has the following instrumentation: 1 x terompong with 13 pots, 1 x grantang, 2 jegogan, 2 jublag, 1 kempur, 1 klenang, 1 ceng-ceng ricik, 1 kajar, 6 gangsa pemade, 4 gangsa kantilan, 2 gangsa jongkok kantilan, 2 x gumanak, 2 x kangsi, 2 suling penyelah, 2 suling gede, 1 rebab.

We use jublag mallets that have heads that are made from a soft wood, instead of using rubber in the modern style: this gives the instrument more of a percussive effect that one hears on vintage recordings. Our gangsa jongkok and some of our gangsa mallets have heads made from goat horn, which also alters the attack on the old bronze keys, making it crisper and clearer.

In February 2020 we added the rarest Semara Pagulingan instrument known to history to the set: a bamboo xylophone with 13 keys in two and a half octaves and played with two wooden mallets called ‘grantang’. Our founder, Vaughan, reconstructed this instrument based on a 1924 photo from Jaap Kunst’s book ‘De Toonkunst van Bali’ and we have had to work out how to play it based on his field notes. In addition to the grantang, when we play this orchestra as a Semara Pagulingan we also add in kangsi, a ponggang-kempyung (a row of four pots that play punctuation throughout gending) as well as gumanak.

This makes our set the most complete Five-tone Semara Pagulingan orchestra in Bali. We also play it the old-fashioned style which has not been influenced by Gong Kebyar or academia.

Listen to our set on these platforms:

Apple Music




Check out videos on our YouTube channel.

Other Collections

In 2019, we restored and reconstructed a very unusal Angklung set from Lombok we have called ‘Semara Kirang’ because of its tuning, where it has four sweet tones with the lowest one missing.
Purchased in 2012, our first Selonding set is modelled on the Bugbug formation but with additional instruments found in the set from Merajan Selonding in the Besakih Temple complex that dates back to around the 10th century.
The Seven-tone Semara Pagulingan set in New Zealand also partly old but has a higher tuning than our one in Bali. The ensemble is both smaller in instrumentation as well as dimensions of the keys, pots and casings.
Our Six-tone Semara Pagulingan is not yet complete, as we still need to fundraise more to make the ornate wooden casings, the design of which we would like to base on the only other Six-tone Semara Pagulingan orchestra in the world.
In mediaeval Bali (circa 1600-1906) Semara Pagulingan (also known as Semar Pegulingan) was an important part of the Balinese courts.
Our smallest ensemble with just two musicians, Caruk is one of Bali's rarest gamelan art-forms and is only found in a handful of villages, including Selat, Karangasem.
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