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Musical instruments

The Musical Instrument of Senenan

The kingdom of Mempawah has musical instrument tool called Senenan. The ensamble of Senenan is similar to Gamelan that is commonly used in Java. According to Karaeng Saiful, a soldier of Mempawah Kingdom, Senenan is an instrument under Majapahit Kingdom’s influence. The original Gamelan Senenan is safe stored in Amantubillah Palace, while the one that commonly used (played) was its replica. 

Judging from the statement above, this kind of instrument is most likely came to Mempawah in the reign of Patih Gumantar in the 14th century. This possibility is intensified with the relation between Mempawah Kingdom (first was called Bangkule Rajakng Kingdom) ruled by Patih Gumantar and Majapahit Kingdom ruled by Patih Gadjah Mada. The purpose of the cooperation between both kingdoms was to cease the Mongolian expansion. One for the examples was by blocking the Mongolian troops in Muangthai (Thailand).

The indication of cultural relation between both Kingdoms was also intensified with the harmonious relation occurred between both Kings, which shown by giving a present of Kris Susuhunan from Patih Gajah Mada to Patih Gumantar.

Musical Instrument of Senenan is played by seven people. This instrument consists of:

  1. One pair of gongs.
  2. One drum, which played using stick of bamboo.
  3. Two pieces of Kenong, which played using stick of wood.
  4. Twelve pieces of Bonang, which separated into two places and each place consists of six units. This tool is played using stick of wood.

The players are standing while playing these musical instruments unlike the musical instrument of Gamelan which played by sitting cross-legged. 

The tempo of music either fast or slow depends on the drummer who acts as the leader of this musical performance playing his drum. In addition, the beginning and end of each song also starts from beating drums.

The song that played tends to be dynamic flowing through and spontaneous. However, two scales contained on Gamelan, namely slendro and pelog are not applied to Senenan.

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