Lombok, Gendang Beleq

Written by on July 6, 2012 in Nusa Tenggara Festivals with 0 Comments

Lombok, Gendang Beleq




Gendang beleq is a dance and music performance from Lombok island, Indonesia. It is a popular performance among the native Sasak people.

The name gendang beleq is a Sasak language term, which means “big drum (big gendang)“, as the performance is about a group of musicians playing, dancing and marching with their traditional instruments, centered around two big drum (gendang) players.

The ensemble for gendang beleq performance consists of main players with of two (occasionally four) large drums. They are followed by players using a gong, a traditional flute (suling), some hand-held kettle-gongs (similar with bonang), and many sets of cymbals.[5][6] The size of the ensemble is usually 12-15 persons, with 3 person to carry and play the heavy gong.

The drum is made from a wood frame with goat skin drum-head. The wood is selected from woods which is hard yet light. The goat skin is selected from goats that are approximately 5 years old to make drums with the best sound. There are two different types of gendang used in the ensemble: the male and female gendang. Each is made from a male and female goat. These two types of gendang have different sound quality.

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

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