Welcome to the Rhythm of the Indonesian Archipelago, a weekly segment introducing you to Indonesian traditional music and musical instrument from across Indonesia. This week, we’ll invite you to know more about a traditional instrument from Indonesia. Talking about traditional music in Indonesia will never end. In West Java, there is new innovation of traditional instrument. The province, which is rich of bamboo trees, makes West Java people never stop to create innovation. At Citengah village, in Sumedang, people make instrument from bamboo, namely Songah or Songsong Citengah. Bapak Ulis, who is a creator of Songah instrument, explained why this instrument is called Songah.
“…Songah is Songsong meaning blowing bamboo because I am from Citengah, so its name is Songsong Citengah.” Pak Ulis said
Early February 2012, at Citengah village, South Sumedang sub-district, a tradition called “Hajat Lembur” was held and art performance was also held at the event. The event was opened uniquely by blowing “Hatong” massively. Hatong is wind instrument made from bamboo which produces sound like bird’s sound. After the event dismissing, young people used pieces of bamboo to be blown and combined with other bamboo instruments. The idea was inspired from the habitat of Citengah villagers who still use bamboo’s Songsong as tool to blow fire and to begins dim when cooking at the kitchen by using stove or Hawu.
“…Previously, I only had Hatong but my friend tried to blow Tamiang like bamboo’s big flute. Then, we tried to combine Hatong with Tamiang. In fact, we found tone in harmony and melodious combination.” Pak Ulis added.
The sound of the instrument is heard weird but soft and able to bring anybody who hears it to imagine as if she/he is at shady forest with fresh air. That’s why, Songah is also called forest music.
What does Songah instrument consist of? Here is the explanation of Bpk. Ulis.
“...It names Hatong Buyut, Hatong sakur, Kokoprak or Karinding, and then Songsong Nengah, Songsong Nengeun and Anom flute. All of them are Songah music.” Pak Ulis Explain.
Citengah villagers who still preserve mutual cooperation, make them be able to pass limited creativity and use anything at surrounding areas. Well, that was a glimpse of traditional instrument from West Java featuring Songah instrument.