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Images from The Beede Gallery

Celempung from the Javanese Gamelan Kyai Rengga Manis Everist

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Side view of Celempung

NMM 9878 and 9879. Celempungs. Plucked zithers with four legs. Twenty-six strings in groups of two held in place by metal pins in an S-shaped wrest plank. Teakwood body decorated with flower and leaf pattern covered in gold leaf. Length: 103.1 cm. One tuning key.

Top view of Celempung
Celempung tuning pins
Upper end of Celempung

Function:  The celempung is an elaborating instrument. Its role is similar to that of the siter—filling in with ornate patterns based on the balungan (basic melody) and the irama (tempo structure). The clempung, siter, and gambang all play the same number of beats in relation to each measure of the balungan melody.

Playing technique:  the celempung is played the same way as the siter—sitting on the floor facing the smaller end of the instrument, the player plucks the strings with the nails of both thumbs. Long thumbnails are essential.


Details of Tuning Key Storage Compartment, Tuning Pins, Key, and Bridge


Celempung tuning key compartment
Celempung tuning pins and key

Celempung bridge

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Go to Checklist of Musical Instruments from Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

Go to The Manufacture and Ceremonial History of the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

Go to The Arrival of the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan in Vermillion, July 15, 2000

Go to The Naming Ceremony for the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan, April 26, 2003

Go to Glossary of Terms Relating to the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

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Most recent update:   April 3, 2014

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