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Indonesia

Saronen

Sronen

Indonesia_A08_Saronen

(from left)
- Saronen ensemble in a procession.
- The saronen.
- The contestants of Sapi Sono.
From Sri Hastanto's Collection


In Maduranese culture, saronen ensemble was traditionally used for accompanying a procession, and it still has this function today. This is due to a number of factors, the most important of which is because saronen contains elements of virtuosity that make it attractive to the audience. The second factor is that it is a portable ensemble, making it a very practical choice for accompanying a procession, in which the players not only play the ensemble but also dance as they join in the procession.


Reasons for selection

Saronen is actually the name of a wind instrument with a sharp, loud, and shrill sound, which is the only instrument that plays the melody in this ensemble. The other instruments, although tuned instruments, have the function of creating a melodic frame, and in addition the kendang (a membranophone)complements the melody with its attractive rhythmic patterns. The musicians dance while playing their instruments. Saronen is uniquely performed and used in a social event called Sapi Sono and Karapan Sapi only in Madura island, part of East Java province, Indonesia.


Area where performed

Madura Island (part of East Java province)


Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance
Contest


Detailed explanation

In Maduranese culture, saronen ensemble was traditionally used for accompanying a procession, and it still has this function today. This is due to a number of factors, the most important of which is because saronen contains elements of virtuosity that make it attractive to the audience. The second factor is that it is a portable gamelan, making it very practical choice for accompanying a procession, in which the players not only play the gamelan but also dance as they join in the procession. This in turn increases its attraction for those watching.

The saronen is usually performed to accompany the journey of a bridegroom to the bride's house during a ritual part of the wedding ceremony in which the bridegroom hands over srah-srahan or wealth such as clothes, farm produce, livestock and money, as his payment to his bride's family. The bridegroom and his elders walk at the front and the gamelan saronen players behind, performing music of a strong, masculine nature throughout the journey. Behind them follow the rest of the procession, people carrying the srah-srahan. Only a single saronen ensemble is required for this ceremony, unlike a procession connected with cows, where dozens of saronen ensembles are played together.

Cows mean everything to the people of Madura. They take great care looking after their cows and cows are symbol of prosperity in the community despite the fact that the cow farming industry does not bring much financial income for them. In addition to cow farming, the Maduranese are also tobacco farmers and it is that which provides them with most of their income. With this money, they are able to pursue their hobby of cow farming. There are basically two large cow festivals. Firstly, Karapan, which is a bull race, and secondly Sapi Sono, a beauty contest for the best cow. Both in Karapan and Sapi Sono, the chosen cows are grouped in pairs. In Karapan, it is a race of speed among the pairs; in Sapi Sono, the better looking and more obedient among the pairs. In both festivals, a procession takes place with the cows that are to compete, when they enter the field from the main road leading towards the stalls inside the competition arena. The second procession is held just before the competition begins, showing off the cows to the spectators by parading them around the arena two or three times.


Publication and textual documentation

already available


Audio documentation

very limited (for example purposes only)


Visual documentation

very limited (for example purposes only)


Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

1. Directorate for the Arts, Department of National Education.
2. Department of National Education, Province of East Java.


Data provider

Dr. Sri Hastanto
Director for the Arts
Directorate for the Arts, Directorate General for Culture, Department of National Education
Address: Gedung E Lantai-9 Komplek Depdikbud, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia