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Dr. Gugum Gunabira Tirasondjaja

The musical traditions of Indonesia were revamped in the 1970s by ethnomusicologist, composer, arranger, producer, and choreographer Doctor Gugua Gumbira Tirasondjaja, who was simply inspired with a nationwide decree banning all “international music” to devote twelve years to studying the country’s rural dance and festival music. Tirasondjaja’s attempts resulted in several changes of the original method of gamelan music. Revamping the town ritual design of music ketuk tilu, which is usually traditionally performed on container gongs tuned to a pentatonic level, he created a fresh design of music that he dubbed jaipongan. While traditional ketuk tilu rings included rebab (spike fiddle) and barrel drums, aswell as the ketuk, Tirasondjaja changed the ketuk using the bonang (huge pot formed gongs). He also performed an important component in the development of the singer’s role.

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