Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra

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Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra
Hi, welcome back traditional Indonesian music lovers, If yesterday we've discussed Rapai which is mostly a traditional musical instrument of Aceh, today we will discuss the traditional music of North Sumatra province, tapatnya Batak Karo.

Indonesian nation known for its diversity and ethnic tribe, until now there are about 1300 an ethnic group in Indonesia, each ethnic tribe is certainly has no traditions and cultural particularities of each.

The diversity of art and culture that exist in the world, and in Indonesia in particular gives much influence to human civilization, as well as the art of music, traditional musical instruments carry a very significant influence on the development of music.

Music is organized sound so that it contains a rhythm, song, and harmony, especially the sound produced from the tools that can produce sounds. (Wikipedia)

Traditional musical instrument is a musical instrument that is developed in a particular society, traditional music is usually closely related to the customs of the tribe / ethnic.

To describe the music and ensemble music, both solo instrument, the approach taken is to be organological with musical instrument classification system based on the von Horn Bostel and Curt Sachs that divides musical instruments based on five broad categories, namely:
  1. Idiofon, which is an instrument with which his own character that produces the main sound.
  2. Kordofon, the musical instrument sound generated due to vibration of the strings or string.
  3. Membranophone, which is an instrument that produces sound from the vibration of the membrane or skin.
  4. Aerofon, which is an instrument that produces sound due to the vibration of air.
  5.  Elektrofon, which is an instrument that sounds by electrical forces.
Although the organological approach, to facilitate public support for the musical instruments, the instruments are also grouped into their respective ethnic divide in more detail in the classification system Curt Sachs.

Special about the solo instrument, the approach taken is also a more specific nature. There are several instruments that actually is not a musical instrument that is used in general, even the people themselves are not categorize these tools as a musical instrument, as the term itself is not in the music culture of the people. However, if we look at the instruments themselves, the actual tool itself can be grouped into a musical instrument.

This indeed we can not deny anymore in the ethnic musical traditions in Indonesia. For instance olek-olek (aerofon multi-reed) is made from a rice stem segments with the base end is broken down in such a way into the tongue (reed) to produce sound, and rice straw body itself made some tone holes, and the base end of the again wrapped cane or palm leaves as a resonator, is not referred to as a musical instrument. Though it is very memeuhi musical instruments eligible for said musical instrument based on the tone in space and time.

Batak ethnic group consisting of sub-ethnic Toba, Pak-Pak Dairi, Simelungun, Mandailaing, Karo, and Coastal Central Tapanuli / Angkola has its own uniqueness and differences of each other

In Toba community or Tapanuli north there are several types of musical ensembles, namely gondang sabangunan, gondang hasapi, and jaundice-uningan. Gondang Sabangunan a large musical ensembles tar contained in Toba. This musical ensemble is also used for traditional ceremonies are great. Besides gondang sabangunan, gondang hasapi is smaller ensemble, then jaundice-uningan.

The term for this music player as a whole - although the mention of each instrument also called pargonsi (read: pargocci). Sometimes called panggual pargonsi only. Besides, the ensemble also there are musical instruments in the form of solo instruments and are used as tools to support the game or more personal. If grouped organological based classification von Horn Bostel and Curt Sachs, the Toba musical instruments can be seen as follows:


1. Group Idiofon :
  • Oloan
Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra
Oloan is one of gung berpencu contained in Toba Batak. Oloan played simultaneously with three other gung in the ensemble, so the number four, which was also played by four players. Fourth gung ogung is commonly referred to, but each is distinguished by naming ogung role in musical ensembles.

Oloan is made from metal / bronze with a print system. Now this is already a lot of gung material made of iron plate formed in such a way. To distinguish it from other ogung sound then the tuning is done by attaching sap pulleys (a type of palm tree) inside the gung. The more sap the pulleys, the more rendahlah the gung voice. Gung Oloan medium sized line approximately 32.5 cm, height 7 cm, and bendulan (pencu) in the middle with a diameter of approximately 10 cm.

Oloan pencunya beaten with sticks made of wood and the base of the tip coated with fabric or rubber. Oloan gung gung ihutan always followed by the same rhythm, but will never fall on the same rhythm (rhythmic canon).
  • Inhutan
As explained above, that also is a gung inhutan berpencu used in the ensemble with three other gung. Which distinguishes it from other gong is its size, sound, and game techniques.
Ihutan medium sized with a line (diameter) slightly smaller than Oloan, ie 31 cm, height (thickness) 8 cm, and a diameter of approximately 11 cm pencu. Ritemnya constant and bersahut-replication with gong Oloan (Litany), so that said sound-replication between these two gongs called polol-polol onomatopoeic. Gong is also played by using a stick made of wood with a cloth or rubber diobungkus. Played by one player.
  •  Panggora
    Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra

Panggora also is one berpencu gongs are played by one person. The sound of this gung is 'pok'. This sounds arise is because gong is played by hitting pencunya with stick while standing and the gong side dimute (muted) by hand. Gong is the biggest gong gong existing fourth dinatara. Its size is the diameter of 37 cm, height (thickness) 6 cm and a diameter of approximately 13 cm pencunya.



  • Doal
Doal also is gong berpencu who played bersahut-replication with Panggora with sound in onomatopenya is kel so that when played simultaneously with the gong will sound Panggora pok - kel - pok - kel and so on with a rhythm that does not change until the composition of a gondang ( song) exhausted.
  • Hesek
Hesek is a musical instrument in the main tempo carrier gondang sabangunan musical ensembles. Hesek a percussion instrument concussion. Hesek is made of metal material consisting of two pieces of the same form, ie as cymbals, but relatively much smaller in size with a diameter of approximately 10-15 cm, and the two units are connected by a rope. But now this instrument used an iron sometimes alone, sometimes from the bottle alone.
  • Garantung
Garantung (read: garattung) is a type o'clock wilahan made of wood (xylophone) made of wood ingol (Latin: ...) and dosi. Garantung consists of 7 wilahan are suspended above a box as well as a resonator. Each wilahan have each tone, ie 1 (do), 2 (re), 3 (mi), 4 (fa), 5 (so), 6 (la), and 7 (si). Between wilahan the one with the other wilahan connected and hung by a rope.
Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra

Resonator box itself also has a stalk, which will also be the part that also struck as a basic rhythm, and wilahan as melody. This instrument is played by using two sticks to his left hand and right hand. While the left hand also serves as a carrier of melody and rhythm carrier, ie left hand hitting the stalk garantung and wilahan well as in playing a song. This instrument can be played solo (single), but can also be played in an ensemble.

2. Group Membranophone
  •  Gordang
Toba Batak drum often called the gondang or taganing. Indeed, the two elements are contained in the drum, it's just the details that gondang and taganing although both are included Membranophone classification and also almost the same shape (only difference in size), but the two are different.

Gondang own understanding Batak society in general have some sense depends on what word affixes attached to the gondang word. There are at least four understanding gondang (Toba), drum (Karo), gordang (Mandailaing), drums (Pak-Pak Dairi), gonrang (Simelungun), in this society, namely (1) as the name of the song, (2) as the ceremony, (3) as an instrument, and (4) as an ensemble.

Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra
Gordang is the greatest drum contained in Toba Batak society, namely the drum is placed on the right of the player in the drum rack. Gordang is usually played by one player using two sticks. Gordang is a part of another drum (taganing).

Toba drum is one of the melodic drum contained in Indonesia. Therefore is more melodic than percussive, then this gondang classification von Horn Bostel and Curt Sachs classified more specifically called drum-chime. Gordang a conical-shaped hand drum with a high of approximately 80-120 cm in diameter upper (membrane) of approximately 30-35 cm, and the bottom of her feet approximately 29 cm.

Gordang is made of jackfruit wood perforated inside, then ditutuip with calf leather on the upper side and lower side as a peg to tighten the rope (lacing) made of rattan (rattan). Part of the drum is struck not only part of the membrane, but also side to produce a certain rhythm repeatedly. Ritemnya is more constant.

Gordang usually played simultaneously with taganing. Gordang is placed on the right player (pargocci). In short gordang taganing is considered a set because the shape is almost the same, only distinguishable size, location is also in the ensemble is in a rack (hanger) are equal.
  • Taganing
Taganing is melodic drum set (drum-chime), which consists of five drums that hang in a rack. The shape is the same as gordang, only sizes vary. The biggest is the right drum, and more to the left of the smaller size. Her tone, too, the more to the left the higher tone.

Taganing is played by one or two people by using two sticks. Compared with the rtelatif gordang constant, then taganing is melodic.
  • Odap
Odap is a conical-shaped double-sided drum. Odap also made of jackfruit wood and cow skin and strap fasteners / fastener made of rattan. Size height of approximately 34 -37 cm, diameter 26 cm one side of the membrane, and 2 side diametermembran approximately 12 -14 cm.

How to play it is, drum part is clamped to the leg, and then hit with a bat, so the sound produces sound ... dap, dap ..., dap ..., and so on. This instrument is also used in the ensemble gondang sabangunan.

3. Group Aerofon:
  • Sarune Bolon
Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra
Sarune Bolon (aerophone double reed) is a wind instrument greatest contained in Toba community. This instrument is used in most large musical ensembles as well, namely gondang Bolon (meaning: large ensemble). Sarune Bolon in ensemble serves as a carrier of the main melody. In ensemble gondang Bolon usually only played one piece only. Players called parsarune.

Sarune playing technique is to use the term marsiulak Hosa (circular breathing), which means, a player can sarune puffs without dashed by regulating breathing, while breathing air back through the nose while blowing sarune. This technique is known almost all ethnic Batak.

But naming is different, as in Karo called pulunama. Sarune is made of wood and consists of three main parts, namely (1) the base of the tip as a resonator, (2) the stem, which as well as a tone hole, and (3) the base of the tip of the tongue sound producer (reed) made of green palm leaves are folded in such a way that is placed in a small tube of metal, and affixed to the body of the sarune.
  • Sarune Fur
Sarune fur (sarune bamboo) as the name suggests is sarune (aerophone-single reed, like Clarinet) made of bamboo. Sarune is made from a bamboo segment both ends holes (without roads) whose length is approximately approximately 10-12 cm, with a diameter of 1-2 cm.

Bamboo is made hole 5 seeds with different sizes. At the base of the tongue is placed at one end (reed) of bamboo partially pried her to be a vibratory sound. His tongue is inserted into the sarune rod, and can be removed-dislodged. The length of the tongue itself is approximately 5 cm. This Sarune in Mandailaing also known by the same name.
  • Sulim
Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra
Sulim (Aerophone: side-blown flute) is a wind instrument made of bamboo such as the flute or flute. Sulim vary in length depending on the basic tone that would be produced. Sulim has a 6 hole pitch to the distance between the tone hole with another tone holes made by traditional measurements. But in this flute melody produced although it can also play songs minor, but is more likely to play the major scale (major scale) with diatonic.

This Sulim difference with the other flute-flute is, the sound produced is always vibrating. This is because of the holes that were made specifically to produce this vibration, which is a hole made between the tone hole by blowing holes with a diameter of approximately 1 cm, and the hole is covered with a membrane of plastic material, so that the resulting sound is vibrating.
  • Ole-Ole
Ole-ole (Aerophone: multi-reed) is a wind instrument that actually belongs to the type of musical instrument is a solo instrument. This instrument is made of the rice stem segments and at the base near the end of ruasnya broken such that the fraction of this rod into the air vibrator as a producer of sound (multi tongue / reed).

This instrument is also sometimes made a hole in the trunk tone. Many holes atonal depending on the manufacturer and the notes to be achieved. This is because the tool is more personal entertainment. At the base of the leaf edges rolled sugar cane or palm leaves as a resonator, so that the sound is loud and can be heard far away. This instrument is seasonal, ie when the harvest comes.
  • Sordam
    Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North Sumatra
  • Talatoat
  • Balobat
  • Tulila
4. Group Kordofon
  • Hasapi
  • Sidideng (Arbab)
  • Panggepeng
  • Saga-saga

Traditional Musical Instruments of Batak Toba, North SumatraSabangunan gondang ensemble consists of a fruit sarune Bolon (Aeropon, double-reed), sometimes
also use sarune etek (small sarune which is smaller than sarune Bolon as carriers of melody, a drum set called taganing (drum-chime), namely six drum that hangs on a single rack, beaten by two men with sticks.

This is gondang melodic drum, as well as rhythm gondang carrier carrier also melodic. Four gongs, namely odap, Panggora, Doal and ihutan. One fruit hesek, namely the iron pieces were struck as carriers tempo.

In Batak society, their social status is high and can be said to be respected. Therefore, the music player is usually always take place higher than the public at a ceremony umumya. For example, at a ceremony mangalahat Horbo (cutting ceremony buffalo), a musician in the Toba usually play music in custom homes, while the ceremony itself was conducted in the custom home page. It also describes the symbols, that the musician was also respected and high status.

Ensemble gondang hasapi is ensemble music using hasapi (long neck lute) as a carrier melody accompanied by musical instruments Sulim (aeropon, side-blown flute). Hasapi usually use two, one hasapi ende, namely hasapi as melody and another carrier hasapi Doal, namely hasapi as carriers tempo.

Uning-uningan is an ensemble that uses instruments that are considered less than two musical ensembles above. This ensemble using the instrument as a carrier garantung melody (a type of xylophone), beaten with two sticks. Stick is not just beaten to the territories, but also as a carrier due to hitting the stick gets the garantung stalk.

So the discussion of Indonesian traditional music of the province of North Sumatra Batak Karo precisely, hopefully can help you to get to know and love the traditional Indonesian music, apologize if many are wrong, because I only use google translate, do not forget in komntar and back again ok.


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