THE INSTRUMENTS USED IN REYOG PONOROGO.
There are two kinds of instruments used in the art of Reyog, which are the instruments for the dancers and the instruments for music accompaniment or gamelan. Both kinds of instruments have typical characteristic of locality.
The musical instruments of Reyog are simple, and the material of the instruments are easily available. The instruments are: traditional trumpet, angklung (made of bamboo tubes, which is shaken to play), kendang (big traditional two-headed drum), ketipung (small traditional drum), kempul (big gong), kethuk-kenong (a pair of small gongs). The simplicity of the instruments does not lessen its power of sense of art, but on the contrary, the gamelan of reyog can bring forth a strong stimulant of art. The traditional songs are able to generate the spirit of enthusiasm and excitement to anyone who listens. The instruments are one of the realisations of the diminishing gaps between the court culture and the laity culture as an effort done in time of Kediri era (1045 – 1222 AD).
A set of gamelan of reyog is actually the unity of realisation of court items and the items found in village society. The artist introduced these court items so as to be enjoyed by all tiers of people in society. In refer to the emergence of the traditional songs, it is clear that the musical instruments of reyog are the manifestation of high quality imagination of warrior’s instruments. The courts items are the kempul, kethuk-kenong, the traditional trumpet, kendhang, and ketipung.
Each court had to have a big gong. It was rarely beaten. In the past the sound of a big gong in a court was a confirmation of a king’s statement. It seemed the value of a sound of a big gong was the same as a statement of a king. All orders and announcement from a king were to be preceded by the sound of a big gong. In modern life the practice of beating a big gong in official events starts to revive. For example in an opening ceremony of a project. The project has not officially been started until the gong is beaten.