Selonding, the Sacred Gamelan from Ancient Village

Gamelan Slonding is a traditional musical instrument which exist in Bali since about 9th. century when Bali govern under King Sri Dalem Wira Kesari Warmadewa era. Some words refer to selonding was found in some inscription. Gamelan Selonding made from iron bar and its pitch/sound is called pelog sapta nada (7 scales pitch).

Gamelan Slonding is part of daily life and culture for some indigenous people in ancient village such as Bungaya, Bugbug, Seraya, Tenganan Pegringsingan, Timbrah, Asak, Ngis, Bebandem, Besakih and Selat in Karangasem regency. It is considered as sacred and used for the religious ceremony purpose, especially when the big ceremony is held such as Usaba Dangsil, Usaba Sumbu, Usaba Sri, Usaba Manggung etc. Gamelan Selonding is part of seni wali which means it is part of the religious ritual itself. Selonding is derived from the word ‘Salon’ and ‘Ning’ which mean holy place.

There are some kind of gending (songs) for different purpose. Gending Geguron for sacred ceremonies e.g. Ranggatating, Kulkul Badung, Kebogerit, Blegude, Ranggawuni. Meanwhile Gending Petegak (before the ceremony start) are Nyangnyangan, Sekar Gadung, Rejang Gucek, Rejang Ileh. And for Rejang dance and Mekare-kare/Megeret Pandan, Gending Penegak Duren Ijo, Lente, Embung Kelor, and Kare are played. There also some gending from Gamelan Gambang  such as Malat, Raras Tunjung, Kesumba, Selambur, Pangus and Pamungkah.

There is a mythology about how Gamelan Selonding comes to the earth. Back centuries years ago, people from Tenganan Pegringsingan heard thunderous voice from the sky. First it came to Bungaya village and the second it was felt in Tenganan Pegringsingan.

In Bungaya village, gamelan Selonding was exist since very long time ago. Inherited as a sacred particular article, it contain 10 kind of instruments: penanga (1 unit), penanga bali (1), gangsa alit (2 units), kasumba (1), petuk (1) and pemarep (2).  The most sacred unit is penanga which is believed as a “home” of (deity) Ida Bhatara Bagus Selonding. This instrument is played very rare and only use for the ceremony called Usaba Dangsil which is occurs at least once in 10 years. Only special person which have ‘penanga‘ status can/allowed to play this instrument. The others instruments are consider as ‘pengiring‘ (accompanist) and the musician who played it called pragina selonding.

Selonding Bungaya is one of the biggest slonding in Bali. It has 92 slats with the size are vary.  There are many songs from Bungaya village. These song is written in Lontar.

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Sumber Bacaan :
Eksistensi Gamelan Selonding di Desa Bungaya, Kecamatan Bebandem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali
oleh Ni Putu Diah Paramitha Ganeshwari , A.A. Ngr. Anom Kumbara, dan I Nyoman Suarsana.
Program Studi Antropologi Fakultas Ilmu Budaya – Universitas Udayana

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