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Slenthem from the Javanese Gamelan Kyai Rengga Manis Everist

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Side view

NMM 9858. Slenthem in Laras Slendro. Seven bronze keys suspended by a cord over sheet-iron resonating tubes in a teakwood frame. Decorated with flower and leaf pattern covered with gold leaf. Feet decorated with a single leaf pattern covered with gold leaf. Length: 89.3 cm. Mallet (tabuh) with a long handle and disc-shaped head with ring-shaped, red-cloth padding.

Slenthem with mallet

Function:  The slenthem usually plays the basic or skeletal melody in Central Javanese traditional music, referred to in Javanese as the balungan. Its scale, an octave below the demung, is the lowest of the basic melody instruments. Because its large bars are played with a soft mallet and resonate over hollow tubes, the tone of the slenthem is smooth and mellow. Although its sound is less piercing than that of the other basic melody instruments such as the saron barung and saron demung, the slenthem has a central role in supporting the melody.

Playing technique:  The player sits on the side with the bars ascending in pitch from left to right. The bars are struck with the padded end of the mallet. The free hand dampens the previous note at the same time that the next note is struck with the mallet.

Carved Panel and Resonating Tubes

Carved panel

Click on any section of the carved panel above to see an enlargement of that section. Resonating tubes can be seen behind panel.

Go to Checklist of Musical Instruments from Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

Go to The Manufacture and Ceremonial History of the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

Go to The Arrival of the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan in Vermillion, July 15, 2000

Go to The Naming Ceremony for the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan, April 26, 2003

Go to Glossary of Terms Relating to the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

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Most recent update:   April 3, 2014

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