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:
Check out videos on our YouTube channel.