Gendang Beleq

Name: Gendang Beleq.
Type: Membranophones > Drums > Barrel.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.22
Country: Indonesia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The gendang beleq is a dance and performance from Lombok Island, Indonesia. It is a performance popular among the Sasak people. The ensemble for gandang beleq performances consists of the main players, two or occasionally four large gendang drums.

They are followed in accompaniment by gong players, suling [flute] and hand held kettle-gong similar to bonang and many sets of cymbals [Ceng-Ceng]. The size of the ensemble is usually 12 to 15 persons, with three people to carry and play the heavy gong.

Etymology: The name gendang beleq is a Sasak language term, which means “big drum [big gendang]”. It is also the name donating a performance is about a group of musicians playing, dancing and marching with their traditional instruments, centred on two big drum gendang players.

The Gendang beleq Ensemble: The ensemble for gandang beleq performances consists of the main players, two or occasionally four large gendang drums. They are followed in accompaniment by gong players, suling [flute] and hand held kettle-gong similar to bonang and many sets of cymbals [Ceng-Ceng]. The size of the ensemble is usually 12 to 15 persons, with three people to carry and play the heavy gong.

In a Gendang beleq performance, the drummers carry and play the gendang and dance a dramatic and confrontational duet. Interlocking rhythms are played by the drummers. Stamina and agility ar required to perform the dance and marching with their instruments.

Gendang beleq can be performed during life-cycle ceremonies, such as celebration of birth, circumcision, wedding and funeral. It can also be performed in a ceremony to invoke rainfall or in a celebrations for national holidays.

The player for the ensemble is called sekehe. The ensemble is composed of males only usually young boys. There are many gendang beleq clubs throughout Lombok. These clubs are supported and sponsored by the Indonesian government as a way to promote Sasak culture and to involve the youth in cultural activities. The clubs usually practice once a week. During performances, the players will use colourful traditional Sasak dress, which is similar to the related Balinese dress.

Citations: Bibliography: Thomasson-Croll, Mary Justice 2010 ; Frommer’s Bali & Lombok ; Frommer’s. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-470-49776-0 ; Salam, Solichin 1992 ; Lombok pulau perawan: sejarah dan masa depannya. Kuning Mas. p. 85 ; Harnish, David D. 2006 ; Bridges to the ancestors: music, myth, and cultural politics at an Indonesian festival. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2914-8 ; Adiati, Tingka; Asmoro, Rudi. “Gendang Beleq, Si Gendang Besar”. Indonesia ; Miller, Terry E.; Sean Williams [2008]. The Garland handbook of Southeast Asian music. Routledge. pp. PA401. ISBN 978-0-415-96075-5 ;

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