Kagungan Dalem Gamelan
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Acquired during the Reign of Sultan Hamengku Buwana VIII
Type: common practice
Tuning: sléndro (Madumurti); pélog (Madukusuma)

Audio Clip (Madumurti), Audio Clip (Madukusuma)

K.K. Madumurti (Honey Body) and K.K. Madukusuma (Honey Flower) are two very fine gamelans that were given to the Eighth Sultan by the ethnically Chinese music connoisseur Li Jing Kim. Both sets probably were known by other names while in the possession of Li. Whether these sets were given to the Sultan while Li was alive or willed to him is unclear, but apparently the two gamelans became part of the palace collection sometime in the late 1930s. Both sets were almost certainly made well before that time, as evidenced by each the distinct differences in their decoration and by the presence in K.K. Madumurti of a slentho, an archaic instrument that is typical of sets made well before 1900 (K.K. Madukusuma does not and apparently never did include a slentho). At some point in their histories these sets were modernized and new matching cases were made for the existing gendèr barung in both, for newly manufactured gendèr panerus and gendèr panembung, and for their gong racks. These sets have no specific ceremonial associations in the palace, but are part of the rotation of sléndro-pélog pairings of common practice palace gamelans used for uyon-uyon Hadiluhung broadcasts and for dance rehearsal accompaniment.

These sets are painted a dark brown with gold highlight set off against a reddish-brown background. While the appearance of all the gendèr-type instruments in both sets is identical (see photo), the basic motifs used on most of the rest of their instruments differ significantly. K.K. Madumurti has Chinese mythological creatures such as the phoenix and dragon displayed on many of its instruments, and the yeksa figure appears on the shoulders of its saron instruments. In contrast, K.K. Madukusuma has a considerably more reserved vegetation motif that does not appear to be at all Chinese in inspiration. An obviously recent addition to the vocabulary of imagery seen on this set is found atop its gong ageng rack--a H.B. royal emblem (lambang), red background with gold highlight, is framed by the same two seed-bearing birds (crows?) and lunglungan that is seen on a number of other palace sets.

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