Traditional Kethoprak Theater of Java: The New Challenges and Transformations

Bramantyo, Triyono Traditional Kethoprak Theater of Java: The New Challenges and Transformations. In: Music: Ethics and the Community. Music: Ethics and the Community, 7 (7). Universiti Putra Malaysia Press, UPM Book Seies on Music Research, pp. 17-30.

[img] Text
4. Kethoprak For UPM - Copy.pdf

Download (338kB)
Official URL:


The history of traditional kethoprak theater of Java dates back in early 19th century when predominantly Javanese farmers playfully make some rhythmic music on a wooden-canoe-in shaped used to manually crush the rice paddy. By the time being they incorporated their percussion playing with some story telling mostly based on local myths and legendary stories. This became the first traditional kethoprak known as kethoprak lesung. Lesung itself is a wooden-canoe-in shaped used to crush the rice paddy with a mortar during the good harvest season. Using the large mortars a group of women, normally comprises of four or five women, crush the rice paddy over and over until it becomes the white rice ready to be cooked. The needs of expressing the story telling to be more dramatic have motivated them to make it to become a performance art. Moreover they incorporated it with some gamelan musical instruments, costumes and acting and thus it became the second development of traditional kethoprak and was called as kethoprak campuran (mixed kethoprak). This traditional theater was so much popular during the years of 1925 – 1927. The comedy part was the most awaited by the audience, despite the whole story that now has been incorporated with the historical events of Javanese kingdoms and thus the needs of actors and actresses to perform the roles has become importance considerations ever since. The history of the traditional kethoprak kept on flourishing and the most of it development was that it already using a complete set of gamelan orchestra, and thus it called as kethoprak gamelan (gamelan kethoprak), and the stage has become more attractive with the use of light and sound system, back ground effects and the art of performance has also been modernized as well. Hundreds of professional kethoprak groups can be found anywhere in most cities in Java. One professional group of it can stay for a whole moth to stage in one city before they move to another city over and over just to imagine how popular this traditional theater used to be. But, contemporary life styles of people have made so many challenges for the traditional kethoprak groups to survive. Television programs have been dominated by popular cultures mostly of Western pop music, imported soap operas and reality shows. Moreover, television programs have been based on a rating system from the people responses to its programs and thus those programs that have only a view number of rates will automatically be wiped out from the programs lists. Traditional kethoprak was the one of those unfortunate genres of performing arts that has no more position to be aired on television or radio programs. However, several creative young artists of the kethoprak have begun to transform the art of the stage and performance as well as the artistic of 2 the traditional kethoprak. So many new sub-genres have emerged since then despite the long for the traditional kethoprak to comeback. Keywords: Kethoprak, Challenges, and Transformations

Item Type: Book Section
Bramantyo, Triyononidn0018025702
Subjects: Musik > Pengkajian seni musik (musikologi dan pendidikan musik)
Divisions: Fakultas Seni Pertunjukan > Jurusan Musik
Depositing User: Triyono Bramantyo
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2021 06:12
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 06:12

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item