Lanceran Satu Slendro

Lanceran Satu Slendro for percussion ensemble
Publisher: Gottry Publications (2014)
Composed: 2007
Duration: 4’30”
Difficulty: Medium-Easy
Instrumentation (7-9 players)bells, vibraphone, two marimbas, chimes, cowbell, timpani (32″, 29″), tam-tam, bongos, congas

Motivated by my first exposure to Javanese gamelan music, this work intends to provide a glimpse into that musical tradition and style using standard western percussion instruments. A lanceran is a particular form for certain pieces in the Javanese gamelan musical tradition. Slendro is one of two tuning systems or pitch collections used for Javanese gamelan. Satu is loosely translated to mean “first.” The structure of a Javanese lanceran is defined by its colotomic (or gong) structure. Within that structure, a balungan (primary melody) is presented and then systematically embellished within designated tempo changes or iramas. Each instrument in the ensemble is responsible for either presenting the balungan, outlining the colotomic structure, or accompanying and embellishing the balungan. Lanceran Satu Slendro is an excellent work for intermediate percussion ensembles as an introduction to another world music culture and design.

With a balance of player accessibility and ethnomusicological validity, this piece could serve many purposes, from a non-Western presentation on a college percussion ensemble performance to a featured piece on an honor band or high school concert. – Jason Baker
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.