Ngemong Raos: Aesthetic Leadership Role of Panjak Juru Kendhang in Javanese Gamelan


  • Afriza Animawan Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Koentjoro Koentjoro Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia



gamelan, leadership, ngemong raos, panjak juru kendhang


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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Author Biographies

Afriza Animawan, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Afriza Animawan obtained his Master’s of Arts in Social Psychology from the Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He has interest in Psychology of Music topics research. He has also been a conductor, pianist, composer, and arranger in Gadjah Mada Chamber Orchestra.


Koentjoro Koentjoro, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Koentjoro is a Professor in Social Psychology at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He gained his PhD in Social Work & Social Policy from the La Trobe, Australia. He is also a gamelan activist, he has a fostered village in Panggang, Gunung Kidul, Indonesia that contains children and adolescents who plays gamelan every weekend.


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How to Cite

Animawan, A., & Koentjoro, K. (2021). Ngemong Raos: Aesthetic Leadership Role of Panjak Juru Kendhang in Javanese Gamelan. Malaysian Journal of Music, 10(2), 1–12.