Classical Javanese Gamelan: tapes

This is just the collection I happened to buy at various tokos on Java. There are many more tapes, and the choice also changes rapidly: this year I did not see a single Lokananta tape in the shops I happened to visit, but there were two other brands I had never seen before.
Gending Soran
RRI gamelan, led by P. Atmosoenarto
Lokananta ACD-010
  1. Kebogiro Glendeng (pl.6)
  2. Tropongban (pl.6)
  3. Manyar Sewu (
  4. Maesa Liwung (sl.9)
  5. Wrahatbaia (sl.mnyr.)
  6. Udan Mas (
  7. Tropongan (pl.6)
  8. Singa Nebah
  9. Ladrang Bima Kurda (
  10. Rena-Rena (sl.6)
  11. Ricik-Ricik (sl.mnyr.)

All the beginner's lancarans (fairly simple, fast pieces, without much ornamentation) on one tape, played in Solo loud style (with bronze instruments only). Indispensible for the beginning gamelan orchestra!

Jaka Tarub
Nyi Sunarti
Lokananta ACD-068
  1. Jaka Tarub (S. Ngaliman): Kumuda (pl.5), Ladrang Gegot (pl.5), Ladrang Tirtakencana (pl.6), Lancaran Serayu (pl.5), Gangsaran (pl.5), Megatruh (pl.5), Sinom Parijatha (sl.9), Gangsaran (sl.9)
  2. Gambyong Pareanom: Ladrang Pareanom (pl.6), Ladrang Sumedang (pl.6), Gending Gambirsawit Pancerana (pl.6)
  3. Prawiraguna (S. Ngaliman): Ladrang Bindri (sl.9)
  4. Retna Tinanding (S.Ngaliman): Ladrang Puspadenta, Ladrang Utama, Ladrang Puspadenta (sl.9)
  5. Pejuang (S. Ngaliman): Lancaran Kandang Bubrah, Welasan, Gangsaran (pl.6)

This tape with Surakarta style dance music features S. Ngaliman's version of Jaka Tarub, the story of the swan princess, the popular festive Gambyong Pareanom putri (female) dance. Powerful and swinging music (as far as Javanese music goes), but really meant as dance accompaniment.

Ketawang Puspawarna
Mangkunagaran gamelan, led by RM. Tarwo Sumosutargio
Gamelans: Kyai Kanyut (slendro), Kyai Mesem (pelog)
Lokananta ACD-163
  1. Ketawang Puspawarna (sl.mnyr.)
  2. Gendhing Gendhiyeng
  3. Ladrang Sukarsih (pl.6)
  4. Gendhing Gondhel
  5. Ladrang Wicara
  6. Ketawang Tarupala (sl.mnyr.)
  7. Ayak-ayakan Kaloran (sl.mnyr.)

A very nice recording of one of the Mangkunagaran gamelans playing under the great pendopo, with slow, intricate pieces. This tape was recommended to us by a stranger in the Toko Cassette around the corner of the Mangkunagaran Palace in Solo, who turned out to have played in the same gamelan as my teacher...

Can be obtained here.

Ladrang Pudyastuti
Artists: gamelan led by K. M. Djokorahardjo
Lokananta ACD-210
  1. Ladrang Pudyastuti (sl.sanga)
  2. Ladrang Balabak (pl.6)
  3. Ladrang Tebusauyun (sl.mnyr.)
  4. Ladrang Rajamanggala (pl.5)
  5. Ladrang Bayangkare (sl.6)
  6. Ladrang Penganten (

'Loud' (bronze) instruments only version of a couple of ladrangs. The music on my copy is somewhat distorted.

Mijil Sulastri
RRI gamelan, led by R. Ng. Harojosasmojo, singers Nyai Bei Mardusari, Nyi Woro Podang, Nyi Tambangraras
Lokananta ACD-235
  1. Gendhing Widosari (sl.mnyr.)
  2. Ketawang Mijil Sulastri (
  3. Gendhing Loro-Loro Gendhong, minggah Loro-Loro Topeng (sl.mnyr.)
  4. Ketawang Maskumambang (pl.6)
  5. Gendhing Kembang Gayam (pl.6)
  6. Gendhing Bondhet (pl.6)
  7. Ketawang Sinom Parijatha (sl.mnyr.)
  8. Jinaman Uler Kambang (sl.sanga)

Mainly female singing solo with gamelan accompaniment, in a rather shrill recording.

Jaka Tarub Nawang Wulan
Mardowo Budhoyo, R. S. Mardowo
Borobudur (no number)
  1. Jaka Tarub Nawang Wulan
  2. Beksan Menak Putri
  3. Sekar Pudyastuti
  4. Beksan Wanara

Very nice recording of a Yogyakarta version of the Swan Princess & other dances from one of the leading Yogya dance schools. Not as intricate as the more formal pieces, but very well played and with excellent singing. And a bargain at Rp.1500 (US$1.25, in 1992).

Srimpi Pandelori
Mardowo Budhoyo, R. S. Mardowo
Borobudur (no number)
  1. Srimpi Pandelori
  2. Tari Batik
  3. Klana Topeng Alus
  4. Beksan Putri (SLTP)

Another tape of dance music from this school in Yogyakarta, with a stately Srimpi, a version of the famous mask dance Klana Topeng and two other dances. Again a very nice recording.

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Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, 24 june 1996