Bedug (large drum suspended horizontally at mosque to summon prayer) can be found in every mosques. The word “rampak” means “serempak” (contemporaneously). Hence, the term “rampak bedug” means the activities of striking bedug contemporaneously to produce beautiful rhythm. Rampak bedug is a traditional cultural art of Banten.
Initially, Rampak bedug was aimed to welcome Ramadhan fasting month and Iedul fitri day. The event resembles ngabedug art or ngadulag. As it is a genial and attracting art, rampak bedug becomes an economical prospect like other commercials music arts. Even the background of rampak bedug creating was religious factor, artists and musicians appreciate it as honorable art work.
The functions of rampak bedug event
• Religious value, enlivening ramadhan holly month, Tarawih (night pray after Isya), and Iedul fitri
• Entertainment value
• Economic value, mainly for Rampak bedug performing art groups.
“Rampak bedug” is an advanced bedug art or ngadulag/ ngabedug. Unlike ngabedug, which can be played by everyone, rampak bedug can only be played by professionals. It is also played in varied ceremonies such as wedding. Basically, rampak bedug is a backing rhytm for Takbiran (praising god), Shalawat (praising prophet) and religious music.
Formerly, rampak bedug was played by men only. Recently, women can play rampak bedug as the performance is more appealing with a dance performed by women. The players are 5 male, 5 female, the male player strike bedug and kendang (small bedug) and the female play bedug only, but both perform dance.
Costumes dressed by the players are Muslim dress, which adapt the traditionalism and modernity. Men wear self-defense art costume and Banten sorban, and more colorful than traditional color which is black or white only. While women wear traditional dress for dancing combined with religiosity and modernity style , such as long skirt, batik motif, the basic color is yellow, big belt, and they wear red long trouser (self-defense trouser), and red cloth as a shawl, long sleeve. They also wear Sanggul (traditional wig).
Instruments of rampak bedug
• Big bedug, as bass sound in the end of a verse
• Tir tir, music instrument made of coconut tree stalk
• Anting caram and anting karam, music instrument made of guava tree stalk
History of rampak bedug
1950, the first event of Rampak bedug was held in Pandeglang. An inter-village rampak beduk competition was also conducted there. Until 1960, the event was only local festival, but gradually expanded to regencies around pandeglang to Serang.
Between 1960 – 1970, Haji Ilen created a creative dance in rampak bedug show. The recent rampak bedug is an ouput of his work. It was latterly developed by Haji Ilen, Burhata,Juju and Rahmat. Thereby Haji Ilen and his companions are regarded as rampak bedug prominent figure. Currently, the numbers of rampak beduk groups rapidly rise.