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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Jegog Gamelan and Dance in Sangkaragung Village, Negara Jembrana, Bali Indonesia

  • Author(s): Artha Negara, I Gede Oka
  • Advisor(s): Foley, Kathy
  • et al.


Jegog is a gamelan made of large-sized bamboo tubes, which are found in the western part of the island of Bali. Originally it was played as a social activity when people gathered to thatch a roof with straw (called nyucuk). The form was invented around 1912 in the village Sebual, Jembrana by Kiyang Geliduh. Gamelan jegog history is divided into three periods, namely Jegog as practiced by Genjor (1912-1945), then as performed by Suprig (1945-1965), and finally the version done by Jayus (1965-present). Jegog used bamboo, because Jembrana is a vast forested area where lush bamboo grows to great breadth and stature. While bamboo orchestras may have originated in other areas of Indonesia or beyond, in Jembrana they achieved a larger size due to the local ecology. Jembrana citizens also value competition, as is evidenced by their folk games/ sports. This spirit of competition also is carried into jegog, which developed jegog mebarung (jegog competitions). This aesthetic has also caused a jegog version of the local makepung (buffalo races), another important and distinctive recreation of the region. Jegog has developed considerably during the Jayus period, because international performances and collaborations became possible. The art was presented in the Netherlands in the 1960s, and later toured, to Japan, (1970), Germany (1990), France (1998), and the US (1986). There are currently jegog groups in the Netherlands (Tropen Museum), in Germany (led by Martin Ramstedt), and Japan (Gamelan Sekar Sakura) and two in America (Gamelan Sekar Jaya Berkeley and Gamelan Artha Negara of Santa Cruz).

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