Tanjidor. The almost extinct Batavian musical tradition is surviving while at the same time it has to compete with the popular dangdut music.
Drums, gongs, tambourines, and bass are scattered on the floor of a 2 by 2 meter-warehouse in a house owned by Sait—one of the leaders of the Kelompok Kesenian Tiga Saudara (Three Brothers Art Group—located on the Kecapi V Alley, no. 27, Jagakarsa subdistrict, South Jakarta.
Nine players of a tanjidor group arrived one by one and immediately took the instruments appropriate to their expertise. According to Sait, a tanjidor musician—especially the older ones—can play more than one instrument in average. Sait had encouraged everyone to master more than one musical instrument. It is only natural since a tanjidor group often lacks musicians. However, each person has his own special mastery. For example, Jujung Niih (64), who plays bedug or drums so well. Saman (69) prefers to play bass, while Salim (64) is more familiar with the tambourine, and Sait (60) himself, who can play every tanjidor instrument, holds the piston (trumpet) or clarinet. Then next to the younger musicians, Minan (30) blows the trombone, Mul (24) blows the tenor, while Ilham (13) plays the kecrek.
That afternoon they practiced at Sait’s house. They actually do not need any training schedule since they are already in tune with each other ever since the older ones formed the tanjidor group, in 1973. They make an exception whenever they are going to have a performance. Such as this one, when they need to prepare for a staging at the Festival Palang Pintu (the Gate Festival) in Kemang Raya, South Jakarta, early June 2011.
The Tiga Saudara Group is one of the remaining tanjidor groups in Jakarta. In fact, they are the only group left in South Jakarta. (WI/Bambang Triyono)