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

Manufacture of a saron stand for the gamelan, Kyai Rengga Manis Everist, by Ud Soepoyo, Surakarta, Central Java, 1999

The manufacture of a saron stand for the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist gamelan was completed in Surakarta, Central Java, during the fall/winter of 1999.

The most complete and beautiful set of gamelan instruments (primarily heavy bronze bars and gongs, mounted on ornately carved teakwood stands, highlighted with gold leaf) outside of the palaces of Java, commissioned by the National Music Museum in 1999, was given its official name, Kyai Rengga Manis Everist, at a naming ceremony held at the Museum on April 26, 2003.

The word, Kyai, refers in Javanese culture to an object deserving great respect and honor and reflects the gamelan's placement in a great museum, where it will be enjoyed for many generations. Rengga means to create or to exhibit, Manis means sweetness and beauty, and Everist honors Margaret Ann Everist (1917-2003), whose generosity and appreciation of beauty are an important legacy of this set of instruments.

Mrs. Everist, a former Trustee at the Museum, provided the funds with which to commission the ensemble. It was built by the fifth-generation gamelan master, Ud Soepoyo, in central Java (an island in the Indonesian archipelago) in the fall of 1999. Soepoyo is also conservator for all of the gamelans at SDSI, the most prominent school for Indonesian arts, located in Surakarta, Java.

Images of the Manufacturing Process

Click on any image below to see an enlargement.

First Performance During Selamatan in Surakarta, Spring 2000

Following its manufacture, a selamatan (or slametan) ceremony was performed in Surakarta to dedicate the gamelan. The selamtan included a traditional Indonesian ritual feast, a performance, and a religious blessing of the instruments prior to their preparation for shipment across the Pacific Ocean to the United States.

What does the NMM's gamelan sound like? Listen to musical excerpts from the CD, Sayuk: Together in Harmony, recorded at the NMM in 2007 by The Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble of the Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota.

Ladrang, Sri Wibowo-Srepeg, Laras Slendro Pathet Songo (1904)
Lagu, Pemut, Laras Pelog Pathet Enem by Joko Sutrisno (2007)
Lancaran, Sayuk-Sampak, Laras Pelog Pathet Barang by Marto Pengrawit (1950), arr. by Joko Sutrisno

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 Checklist of Musical Instruments from Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

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

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
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Vermillion, SD 57069

©National Music Museum, 2006-2014
Most recent update: April 3, 2014

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