Baleganjur is processional music in which the musicians carry their gongs, CENG-CENG (cymbals), REYONG (hand-gongs) and KENDANG (drums). I reckon the first couple of In-Real-Life gigs we'll do when the virus has abated will be out in the open, pretty spread out, and not lugging huge GANGSA, so Baleganjur seems like a good start*. This playthrough video shows a good introduction sequence, single ANGSEL (angsel lantang), double ANGSEL, two smooth ways of sneaking into GILAK groove, and a short composed section called PENGISEP. Check out KENDANG lesson one video for how these patterns are constructed. I'll add the slow PENGAWAK and end sequence in a future video...
*other pieces in the Kendang CEDUGAN style, using a PANGGUL (mallet) can be creatively converted to suit Baleganjur instrumentation. Wira Yudha and Crukcuk Punyah fit neatly into this category.
tunes inA lot of KENDANG parts are made up of short sequences which repeat until an ANGSEL is triggered, either by the dance moves of the PENARI or by choice from the KENDANG players. (See GILAK lesson). This is especially true of the faster tempo sections, whereas the slower PENGAWAK (lit. 'torso', middle section) and PENGADENG (lit. 'slow thing') tend to have longer, melodic interaction. By melodic I mean one sound ant a time (no overlapping) and there is a certain singability to the composite part of the drums, slow enough to pronounce each drum syllable and understand which hits are yours. The first video below is from the PENGAWAK of CRUKCUK PUNYAH* played on the WADON (whose sounds are DAG, TAT, KAP).
*In fact this drumming sequence suits several tunes in the TABUH TELU genre, including two we play: GAJAH NONGKLANG, and BUAYA MANGAP.
Next is the WADON part for the PENGAWAK section of WIRA YUDHA. Sorry this isn't a lesson, rather a reminder of the main groove for those who have already learned it. I intend to create a lesson video soon because it's such good stuff to try - even it you don't have a drum to practise on!
The KENDANG (drums) act as leader of most Gamelan ensembles, helping to establish the speed and energy of a piece. Just like KOTEKAN interlocking on GANGSA, there are usually two different rhythmic parts made to fit together to achieve a speed and complexity which would be difficult for one player alone. By altering their repeated grooves the drummers give signals for changes in volume, tempo, and cues to ANGSEL breaks.
Check out the start of the GILAK video below, even if you don't have any kind of drum to practise on at home, because it's important for everyone in the ensemble to recognise the sound of these basic rhythms. The knee-tapping exercise is quite good at giving you a feel for the GILAK pattern, which is used in many of the tunes we play.
The next most common groove you'll get to know is BATU-BATU. Technically this is the name of a semi-improvised style of paired drumming but it's very common to play fixed versions to begin with. Also this particular version of BATU-BATU is said to be appropriate for the tunes WIRA YUDHA and CRUCKCUK PUNYAH. Of course drummers like to mix things up a bit and have fun, so as long as the rest of the ensemble is prepared for a little variation, the drummers have a certain amount of freedom. (More about BATU-BATU variations in later videos...)
Learning the names of the various drum strokes enables us to communicate the patterns vocally, as they do in Bali, and gives you another way to practise. In CEDUGAN drumming, which uses PANGGUL (sticks) to play the KENDANG the sounds are "DAG", "TAT", and "KAP" for the WADON. LANANG has the sounds "DUG", "TET", and "PAK". So, for example, we can recite the slow section of CRUKCUK thus:
Dag _ Dug _ Dag _ Dug _ Dag _ d'Dug _ KaPaKaPak d'DaDuDag _ d'Dug _ KaPaKaPak d'DaDu
Dag _ Dug _ Dag _ Dug _ Dag _ DuDaDug _ Dag _ Dug _ Tat _ Tet _ Dag _ Dug _ DaDuDag _ Dug _
To quote a great book *DON'T PANIC* about the example above. You're not supposed to learn it from the written words, but it sort of sounds like that once you have learned it.
Maybe an example from these videos would be better. Here's the PINDAH_PINDAH 'swapping bar' of BATU-BATU:
_ Ka Pa Ka Pa Ka Pa Da Du Da Dug _ Da Du Da Dug
If you've mastered all the WADON parts above you should try adding the LANANG patterns to your vocabulary. It's surprising how much better your WADON rhythm will feel once you've learned both halves.