Sunday, February 8, 2009
This is a picture of "Kendang", the traditional Sundanese drum. Like any drums, it is a membraphonic percussion musical instrument.
Sundanese "kendangs" are classified and named according to their sizes. The largest of them is called "kendang gede" (the large drum), then there is "kendang leutik" (the smaller drum), and "katipung" (the smallest drum).
If you look at the picture, one side of the Sundanese drum has a wider surface than the other. The part with the wider surface is called "bem" and the one with the narrower surface is called "kempyang".
A standard "kendang" is usually about 60 - 70 centimeters (23.6 - 27.5 inches) long, with the diameter of about 20 centimeters at the "bem" side, 25 centimeters in the middle, and 15 centimeters at the "kempyang" side.
"Kendang" is usually played in a set, that is the larger "kendang" and its smaller "siblings". It can be played to accompany a dance (for example in "Jaipongan"), in a combination with other musical instruments like in "degung" or even in an ensemble of their own, which is called "rampak kendang".
To see how this musical instrument is played in a "rampak" (ensemble), please check out this 9 minute 24 second youtube video presentation courtesy of kocin. This "rampak kendang" performance was made by KABUMI, the performing art group of the Indonesia University of Education Bandung (my Alma matter) who was performing in Tokyo quite a while ago. (Note: The video includes an opening speech in Japanese by the host of the program. The actual performance starts at minute 1:15.)