Gegendingan Bali: The Freedom Of Expression Through The Traditional Music

Click to enlarge image
  • Denpasar


Line logo

Gegendingan Bali: The Freedom Of Expression Through The Traditional Music.

Gegendingan means a set of free sentences to be sung. Unlike long-lyric songs, sentences in the gegendingan are generally shorter and simpler. Uniquely, each sentence doesn’t always have a meaning that forms a specific story. Even these sentences do not have a clear meaning. Gegendingan is divided into three types, namely as follows.

1. Gending Rare 

All children's songs in Balinese traditional games are included in the Gending Rare category. This type of song generally uses simple Balinese, the sentence is dynamic and cheerful. So that it can be sung and hummed easily when they’re playing. Usually, the song has the same theme as the game. For example, meong-meong song is sung in meong-meongan game. But there are also those who stand alone as folk songs. In this type of gending, there are those whose entire stanza is the content, some of them contain sampiran stanzas, and some are only in the form of sampiran without clear meaning. For example, Dadong Dauh and Putri Cening Ayu song.

2. Gending Jejangeran 

To sing Gending Jejangeran, two groups are needed which are divided into male and female groups. Same with Gending Rare, the difference is that the Gending Jejangeran is sung together and one person answers to each other. Gending Jejangeran is usually sung by adults. Because it is not a game song, it is added to the play (lelampahan) or movements to make it more interesting and artistic. Gending Jejangeran is usually performed in an entertainment stage. The example of Balinese Gending Jejangeran children's song is Mejangeran.

3. Gending Sanghyang 

Gending Sanghyang is the last type of gending and its function is for spiritual needs. These types of music are songs that are used to accompany some sacred dances such as Sanghyang Dedari, Sanghyang Deling, Sanghyang Jaran, and so on. The contents of this genre are often abstract and difficult to digest. Just like its function, this song is only sung if a village is performing a Sanghyang dance. Sometimes, this song is also hummed in a relaxed atmosphere by children. But during a sacred ceremony, the Gending Sanghyang is sung by an adult. So that the combination of dance and singing can produce spiritual strength, and the intention to carry out the ceremony can be granted.

Actually, Bali's gegendingan especially Gending Rare has started to be abandoned now. In the past, Gending Rare was taught in schools and included in muatan lokal lessons. But in this modern era, most schools began to erase this lesson. In fact, it would be nice if the arts and culture of Bali are still passed on to the next generation. So that the legacy of ancestors isn’t disappeared and can continue to be preserved.