A Transmission of Kêlèntangan Music among the Dayak Bênuaq of East Kalimantan in Indonesia

  • Eli Irawati Ethnomusicology Department, Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta
Keywords: kêlèntangan, content, conveyor, interaction, mechanism


Musical transmission is integral to the sustainability of musical traditions. Most literature on musical transmission focuses how songs are memorised rather than how instrumental pieces are transmitted. This study explores the transmission processes of the kêlèntangan, the instrumental pieces that accompany the Dayak Bênuaq rituals. The transmission processes comprise the conveyor, content and mechanism. There are three figures involved in this conveyor processes— the pênu’ung (musician), the pêngampir (observer) and pêmêliatn (shaman). I argue that transmission of kêlèntangan involves a triangular interaction among these three figures. In addition, the transmission of kêlèntangan generates two kinds of content—musical and non-musical, which requires different mechanisms. These mechanisms include bêkajiq (listening), kintau (imitating), to tameh (improvisation). The interaction between the pênu’ung transmits musical and non-musical contents; while the interaction between the pêngampir and pênu’ung; pêmêliatn and pênu’ung; and pêmêliatn and pêngampir; each transmits non-musical content.

Author Biography

Eli Irawati, Ethnomusicology Department, Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta

Eli Irawati is a lecturer at the Ethnomusicology Department, Faculty of Performing Arts, Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, and local-traditional music of Kalimantan, Indonesia, is her focus of study and teaching. Her MA and PhD degree was obtained at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta. Research interest includes issues of music transmission, ritual, identity, nationalism, tourism, globalisation and modernisation in Indonesia.


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How to Cite
Irawati, E. (2019). A Transmission of Kêlèntangan Music among the Dayak Bênuaq of East Kalimantan in Indonesia. Malaysian Journal of Music, 8, 108-121. Retrieved from http://ejournal.upsi.edu.my/index.php/MJM/article/view/1801