Kagungan Dalem Gamelan
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Acquired during the Reign of Sultan Hamengku Buwana VII
Type: common practice
Tuning: sléndro (Medharsih); pélog (Mikatsih)

Audio Clip (Medharsih), Audio Clip (Mikatsih)

Since 1983 when they were modernized and had new matched casings made for them, K.K. Medharsih (Scattering Love) and K.K. Mikatsih (Tempting Love) have been used regularly as a pair for uyon-uyon Hadiluhung and for the accompaniment of dance and dance drama performances celebrating important dates in the palace calendar. Prior to 1983 these two sets were probably not used at all in the palace’s performing arts activity. From when they were acquired by the Seventh Sultan to about the year 1900 their primary use was to fulfill the musical needs at Kadipaten, the residence of the Crown Prince. The Seventh Sultan acquired K.K. Mikatsih while he was still a prince (sometime before 1877), but it is impossible to tell if the gamelan was newly commissioned or already of some age at the time. K.K. Medharsih entered palace circles during his reign as the Seventh Sultan (after 1877). Certain features of this set strongly suggest that it was not made at the same time or by the same craftsman as was K.K. Mikatsih. In fact, given the number of gongs (twelve) on each of its gong chime instruments (bonang) and the number of keys (seven) on each of its melodic instruments (saron), it is very likely that this ensemble originated in Surakarta rather than Yogyakarta. How and from whom it was acquired is now lost to history. We know very little of the history of these sets between the end of the 19th Century and their 1983 renovation and modernization.

The current unifying decoration of these sets has them painted green with gold highlight over a light-red background. This is different from their coloring at the time of their 1983 modernization, when they were painted entirely dark red with relief in gold. The carving motif is vegetation with facing crows each holding a seed in their beak. This motif, as well as the sets' green color, is clearly inspired by the decoration of the heirloom gamelan K.K. Kancilbelik, minus the deer, water and the Eighth Sultan’s royal emblem components. The carving found on the bonang end boards of K.K. Kancilbelik and K.K. Mikatsih illustrates their common inspiration. Prominently displayed atop the stand from which the gong agengs of K.K. Medharsih and K.K. Mikatsih are hung is a vividly rendered yeksa framed by stylized mirong (garuda wings) and lunglungan (tendrils).

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