Hindu community in Bali has a special way to honor the gamelan musical instrument. It is carried out by holding otonan ceremony on the Tumpek Krulut falling on Saniscara (Saturday) Kliwon Krulut (22/10). It is conducted every six months or 210 days. People who have gamelan, the artists and gamelan art troupes are required to
Hindu community in Bali has a special way to honor the gamelan musical instrument. It is carried out by holding otonan ceremony on the Tumpek Krulut falling on Saniscara (Saturday) Kliwon Krulut (22/10). It is conducted every six months or 210 days. People who have gamelan, the artists and gamelan art troupes are required to implement this ceremony.
Dr. I Gede Arya Sugiarta, Rector of the Indonesia Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar, said that providing ritual for gamelan instrument was mentioned in the Prakempa palm-leaf manuscript on Balinese gamelan. It was mentioned there were four good ways to play Balinese gamelan namely the logic or philosophy, ethics, aesthetics and techniques to play gamelan.
In the ethics was then mentioned about the otonan for gamelan. To make the gamelan instrument well maintained psychically, it could be done with ritual on Tumpek Krulut. If people would like to learn gamelan, they should perform the ceremony on Tumpek Krulut. “Tradition of holding ritual for gamelan on Tumpek Krulut is indeed a new tradition because we just realized it,” he said.
In the manuscript was mentioned that gamelan ritual was dedicated to God in his manifestation as the god of the arts. After the ceremony, it was expected that all gamelan musicians could play together. “It is based on the belief that after saying prayers people play gamelan together. In essence, it is building a sense of togetherness,” he said.
According to Dr. Arya Sugiarta, the tradition of providing ritual for gamelan began around the 1990s when the Dance Academy of Indonesia (former name of the ISI) learned about the Prakempa manuscript well. “Through our faculty and students, we try to disseminate the information, so that it has now become a tradition,” he added.
The manuscript also mentioned that people were not allowed to overstep the gamelan as an effort to take care of the gamelan well. In addition to offering some oblations, it should also be followed with good behavior. Essentially, it was the way how to respect to Balinese gamelan accordingly. “If it has been respected and cared for, it will automatically generate the taksu or divine vibration,” he added.
Prakempa manuscript, said Dr. Arya Sugiarta, mentioned the ethics in playing the gamelan such as related to people’s posture. Gamelan should not be overstepped because the respected goods might not be overstepped. For example, Balinese drums might not be overstepped, but played on thighs in cross-legged position. “Having been respected in such a way, the taksu would appear by itself,” he said. (BTN/015)