Nartosab describes the heavy composition of instruments in the music when he argues that the time he started learning the musical culture, he was required to purchase a guitar. The musician argues that a guitar used to cost six Indonesian Rupiah, which was expensive in 1937 when he started learning Javanese music (Titon 331). The music is played using puppeteers that are worn by the dancers. Nartosab describes how people told him that he would grow insane because of using the calf as a puppeteer for dancing; this is because this act was against the traditions of Indonesians before the music came into being. The sounds of the people performing the music are not as high as the instruments that they play (Titon 332).
Rhoma Irama played the Dangdut, a pop music that is performed using drums and electric guitars, in the 1970s and 1980s. Rhoma was in school during these years, but his interest was inclined to music more than education, until people named him the king of Dangdut. Irama had learnt the art of dancing using electric guitars more than any other person during this time. The Dangdut was more of rock music because it was heavily influenced by this type of music from the western world. The Dangdut was popular in Indonesia because of the influence that it had from western rock, which was more developed at that time (Titon 345). This popularity of the Dangdut also made Rhoma Irama a popular musician in the Indonesia, his home country. The Ahma Band plays rock music in Indonesia. The band
was developed by Dhani Ahmad in 1998, at a time when Indonesia was politically unstable (Titon 350). Students in Indonesia caused chaos in the country through strikes that aimed at opposing the harsh treatment that they were undergoing. The Ahma Band started singing the rock music as a way of criticizing political unrest and corruption in the country. Titon argues that the songs played by the band were general, but it influenced people’s emotions because the message that the band passed was true (Titon 350). This indicates that the band indirectly influenced people to oppose the political oppression that they underwent under the leadership of Suharto. An example of the music that the Ahma Band played is the Distorsi whose theme was to condemn corruption and hypocrisy among political leaders. The song complained about the pretence of leaders without identifying them by names. This is because at that time, musicians who criticized the state faced the risk of being detained for months or years, and their music would be banned from being played in the country (Titon 350). The state is the highest level of authority that should be respected Dhani, the leader of the Ahmad Band tried to blend indigenous Indonesian music with modern styles. This is because he preferred to sing the music in rhythms and tones that were similar to rock, a modern style. Dhani argued that it was difficult to sing and dance rock using the traditional instruments that other musician used in Indonesia (Titon 350). Gamelan refers to a group of instruments of varying size, style, and composition. It is similar to an orchestra, and it consists of xylophones, flutes, strings, drums, and gongs (Titon160). The Javanese (Java) and the Balinese (Bali) use Gamelan though they have similarities and contrasts. The similarities between Javanese and Balinese Gamelan include the use of rituals, dance, drama, and puppets. The two classes of music are also played using different tonal variations, and they both use the Gamelan instruments named above. The Javanese Gamelan is intellectual and serene, and its tone is constant from the beginning to the end.