Ngemong Raos: Aesthetic Leadership Role of Panjak Juru Kendhang in Javanese Gamelan
The leadership of the Javanese gamelan is handled by a panjak juru kendhang (kendhang player). Although this player is the leader of this ensemble, his function is distinct from that of a conductor in a Western symphony orchestra. Psychological studies on leadership in music have examined the function of conductors in Western symphony orchestras. However, leadership in gamelan ensembles have yet to be explored. This study aims to examine leadership in Javanese gamelan ensembles. This study involved nine informants consisting of three main informants who are panjak juru kendhang, three informants who are pengrawit (gamelan players), and three expert informants who were academicians and gamelan experts. Qualitative methodology, i.e., the phenomenological method, was applied and interpreted through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Our findings on gamelan leadership is elaborated within four cycles of aesthetic leadership called ngemong raos (soul nurturing) which include sensitivity of niteni (observing), decision-making, gotong royong (egalitarian tasks), and the building a raos.
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