Rebab: A Musical Instrument in Balinese Performing Art

I Wayan Rai, I Gde Agus Jaya Sadguna, I Gde Made Indra Sadguna


This study is aimed at understanding the existence of rebab as a musical instrument in Balinese performing art. On the other hand, as one of gamelan musical instruments in Bali, rebab which is a unique instrument and can soften the played music has to be concerned and treated the same in Balinese performing art. Unfortunately, it is recently neglected. The questions : 1) why is this instrument getting rid of in Bali performing art; 2) How is it’s implication in Balinese performing art in this global era?The results of this study were completed using qualitative methods. Types and sources of primary data obtained through observation, in-depth interviews and FGDs with informants while in the field. All of the data obtained were analyzed using the theory of aesthetic, practical and structural functional.As a result, the neglected rebab as the musical instrument in Balinese performing art has indirectly led to identity loss, lack of media of ethnic musical creativity and local culture impoverishment in this global era. In this study, it is found that rebab recently lacks of it’s part in Bali performing art because its function is assumed as the secondary instrument or as a supplementary musical instrument which role can be neglected. Moreover, the technique of playing rebab is quite difficult causing many young artists are barely interested in learning the technique of playing it and developing rebab-based song.


Rebab, Musical Instrument, Balinese, Performing Art.

Full Text:



Aryasa, IWM. Perkembangan Seni Karawitan Bali. Denpasar : Proyek Sasana Budaya Bali, 1976/1977.

Bandem, I Made. Prakempa Sebuah Lontar Gamelan Bali. Denpasar: Akademi Seni Tari Indonesia Denpasar., 1986.

Becker, Judith and Alan H. Feinstein (eds). Karawitan : Source Readings in Javanese Game/an and Vocal Music. 3 vols. Ann Arbor: Center for South and Southeast Asian Studie, The University of Michigan, 1984.

Becker, Judith. Traditional Music in Modern Java. Honolulu : The University Press of Hawaii, 1986.

Djelantik, A.A.M. Estetika : Sebuah Pengantar. Bandung: Masyarakat Seni Pertunjukan Indonesia, 1999.

Harnish, David. Music at the Lingsar Temple Festival: The Incapsulation of Meaning in the Balinese/Sasak Interface in Lombok, Indonesia. Ph.D. dissertation. University of California Los Angeles, 1991.

Harrel, Max. The Music of the Gamelan Degung of West Java. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California Los Angeles, 1974.

Hastanto, Sri. Konsep Pathet Da/am Karawitan Jawa. Surakarta: ISI Surakarta Press, 2009.

Hood, Mantle. The Ethnomusicologist. Ohio: The Kent State University Press.1982.

Kartawan, I Made. “Cara Pembuatan Kendang Bali”. Dalam Bheri Jurnal Ilmiah Musik Nusantara Volume 5 (hal 18-30). Denpasar: Jurusan Karawitan STSI Denpasar, 2006.

Kartomi, Margaret and Stephen Blum, (eds). Music-Culture in Contact; Convergences and Collisions. Gordon and Breach Publisher, 1994.

Kartomi, Margaret. “Musical Strata in Sumatra, Java and Bali” da/am Music of Many Cultures, ed. E. May, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981: 111-133.

Kartomi, Margaret. On Concept and Classification of Musical Instruments. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Kuckertz, Josef. “Origin and Development of the Rabab” , in Sangeet Natak, vol. 15.New Delhi : Sanget Natak Akademi, 1965.

Kunst, Jaap. Hindu-Javanese Musical Instruments. The Hague : Martinus Nijhoff, 1968.

May, Elizabeth, (ed). Musics of Many Cultures. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1981.

McPhee, Colin. Music In Bali: A Study in Form and Instrumental Organization in Balinese Orchestral Music. New Haven and London : Yale University Press, 1964.

Midgley, Ruth. Musical Instruments Of The World, New York : Facts On File Inc. 1976.

Mustika, Pande Gede. Gambelan Semar Pagulingan Saih Pitu di Pura Balebatur Desa Kamasan. Skripsi Sarjana Muda ASTI Denpasar, 1982.

Nettl, Bruno. The Study Of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005.

Palgunadi, Bram. Seraf Kandha Karawitan Jawi. Bandung : ITB Bandung, 2002.

Pradana, G.Y.K. “Implications of Commodified Parwa Shadow Puppet Performance for Tourism in Ubud, Bali”. Journal of Bussiness of Hospitality and Tourism 4(1): 70-79, 2018c. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Pradana, G.Y.K. and I.W. Pantiyasa. “Makotek as Tourist Attraction in Munggu Village, Bali”, pp. 10-18. In : Gafar, A., R. Suprina, Amrullah, D. Gantina (Eds.). Proceedings of The International Conference on Tourism, Gastronomy and Tourist Destination, Atlantis Press, Jakarta, Indonesia, 400p., 2018. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Pradana, G.Y.K. and K.S.M. Parwati. “Local-Wisdom-Based Spa Tourism in Ubud Village of Bali, Indonesia”. Russian Agricultural and Socio-Economic Sciences 8(68): 188-196., 2017. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Pradana, Gede Yoga Kharisma. “Innovation in Cenk Blonk Performance : A Strategy of Empowering Local Language Through Balinese Shadow Puppet”, pp.173-182. In : Sudipa, I.N., I.B.P. Yadnya, M. Budiarsa, and I.N. Darma Putra (Eds.), Proceedings of The International Conference on Local Language, UNUD Press, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 797p, 2018a. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Pradana, Gede Yoga Kharisma. “The Meaning of Makotek Tradition at the Munggu Village on the Global Era”, pp. 122-128. In : Ardhana, I.K. (Ed.), Proceedings of The International Bali Hinduism, Tradition and Intereligious Studies, UNHI Press, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 410p, 2018b. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Pradana, Gede Yoga Kharisma. Sosiologi Pariwisata. Denpasar : STPBI Press, 2019. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Rai, I Wayan. Balinese Gamelan Semar Pagulingan Saih Pitu : The Modal System. (Ph.D. dissertation). The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1996.

Rembang, I Nyoman. Sekelumit Cara-Cara Pembuatan Gamelan Bali. Denpasar: Proyek Pengembangan Kesenian Bali Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1984.

Ruastiti, N.M., G.Y.K. Pradana, I.K. Purnaya and K.S.M. Parwati. “The Royal Dinner Party Puri Anyar Kerambitan Tabanan : A Sustainable Cultural Tourism Attraction Based on Local Community”, pp.1448-1459. In : A.D.Witjaksono, D.Tandyonomanu, A.O.T. Awaru, T.Pangalila, Tsurroya, A.M.Fauzi, R.N.B. Aji, D.A.Larasati, I.P.M.H. Purba, G.Wahyu P., Y.Lestari (eds.). Proceedings of The 1st International Conference of Social Science, Atlantis Press, Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia, 1.269p., 2018. (additional reference and not yet hyperlinked)

Sadguna, I Gde Made Indra. Kendang Bebarongan dalam Karawitan Bali: Sebuah Kajian Organologi. Yogyakarta: Kanisius., 2010.

Schaareman, Danker (ed). Balinese Music in Context : A Sixty-fifth Birthday Tribute to Hans Oesch. Forum Ethnomusicologicum 4, 1992.

Sudirana, I Wayan. “Kendang Tunggal: Balinese Solo Drumming Improvisation.” MA Thesis, Canada : The University of British Columbia, 2009.

Sugriwa, I Gusti Bagus. “Terjemahan dari LontarAji-Gurnita” dalam Perkembangan Seni Karawitan Bali oleh IWM Aryasa. Denpasar : Proyek Sasana Budaya Bali, 1976/1977.

Sukerta, Pande Made. “Jenis-Jenis Tungguhan Karawitan Bali”. Proyek Pengembangan Media Kebudayaan Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan Departemen Pendidikan Nasional Republik Indonesia, 2001.

Sukerta, Pande Made. Belajar Rebab Bali. Cetakan Kedua. Surakarta: ISI Press Surakarta, 2011.

Sumarsam. Gamelan : Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central Java. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Tenzer, Michael. Gamelan Gong Kebyar: The Art of Twentieth-Century Balinese Music. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Wenten, I Nyoman. “Gamelan Semar Pagulingan : Court Music in Transition” in Balinese Music in Context, Danker Schaareman, ed. Forum Ethnomusicologicum 4, 1992. p. 297-312.

Wijayananda, Ida Pandhita Mpu Jaya. Doa Sehari-hari: Keluarga dan Masyarakat Hindu. Surabaya: Paramita., 2008.

Zoete, Beryl de and Walter Spies. Dance and Drama in Bali. New York and London: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1939.


I would like to express my gratitude to : I Wayan Sinti, Pande Made Sukerta, I Gede Arya Sugiartha, I Made Kartawan, I Wayan Sudirana, I Gusti Ayu Srinatih, Mangku Made Regig, Kadek Sudiasa, Ni Made Ruastiti.



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


If you find difficulties in submitting manuscript please forward your doc file to Our support team will assist you in submission process and other technical matters.

In order to get notifications on inbox please add in your email safe list.

Journal of Arts and Humanities (Print) ISSN:2167-9045

Journal of Arts and Humanities (Online) ISSN: 2167-9053

[Journal of Arts and Humanities previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]