KARANGASEM, a district on the eastern tip of the Island of Bali, has a lot of unique and rare arts. One of them is penting musical instrument. According to historical records, this art of music originating from China was still popular among the local community until the end of the Karangasem kingdom.
What is penting musical instrument?
Penting belongs to a seven-tone instrument that can be used to play both pelog and selendro tunes. Besides, it can be a combination of the two. That is, this rare art of Karangasem can be performed in combination with traditional gamelan music compositions such as angklung, gong and joged bumbung which usually accompany various religious ceremonies.
This penting musical instrument is played by repeatedly swiping or flicking the strings. After that, the keys are pressed first to produce the desired tones.
To prevent from extinction, the local community established a penting art troupe. Then, the penting musical instruments are played together by combining it with other traditional musical instruments such as fiddle, gong pulu, drums, cymbals, flutes, kajar, kempul and kemong.
The art having been adapted into the cultural treasures of Bali is still sustainable up to these days. On the other hand, the young generation feels proud to play and preserve it.
This penting art is also staged at annual cultural events for the community such as the Bali Arts Festival (BAF). Before being staged at the Denpasar Art Center, the penting art was also involved in the opening parade which took place in Renon area, Denpasar. The general public outside Karangasem was finally able to recognize and enjoy this distinctive penting art.