K. P. H. Notoprojo

K. P. H. Notoprojo, also known as Tjokrowasito, Wasitodipuro, Wasitodiningrat, among other names (March 17, 1909 August 30, 2007), was one of the most highly respected performers of Javanese gamelan. He led the Paku Alaman palace gamelan as well as the gamelan for the Radio Republik Indonesia Yogyakarta, and taught gamelan in universities around the world. He was also a noted composer and rebab performer.

On March 9, 2004, he received the Nugraha Bhakti Musik Indonesia Award.


His official name changed several times, corresponding to honors received during his lifetime. He was born in Yogyakarta, Central Java, as Wasi Jolodoro. He was first called Tjokrowasito (Cokrowasito in the new orthography); and known familiarly as Pak Tjokro (Cokro). As he became musically proficient, his peers called him Ki Tjokrowasito (Ki is an unofficial title of respect). In the 1960s, the Paku Alaman Palace honored him with the name K.R.T. Wasitodipuro, or "Wasito of the palace; and the additional honorifics K.R.T., or Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung. Later, he was honored again to become K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, "Wasito of the world." In 2001 he was recognized officially as the biological son of Paku Alam VII, and half-brother of the Paku Alam VIII. He was then given a title similar to a prince: K. P. H. Notoprojo, or Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo, which remained his name until the end of his life. [1]


He was born in Yogyakarta, Java. He grew up in the Paku Alaman palace, and began studying gamelan at age five from his legal father, R.W. Padmowinangum, who led the palace gamelan. His formal education was at Taman Siswa secondary school, enriched by studies at the palace.

In addition to playing in the court gamelan, he played with other famous gamelan groups, such as Daya Pradangga, and served as gamelan musical director at the radio station MAVRO (Mataramsche Vereeniging Radio Omroep) from 1934, Radio Hosokyoku from 1942-1945 during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, and RRI Yogyakarta after independence. He had the opportunity to teach karawitan abroad beginning in 1953, and worked in several countries. He taught at the Konservatori Tari Indonesia and Akademi Seni Tari Indonesia, and founded a school for the study of vocal music, Pusat Olah Vokal Wasitodipuro.

He took over the Pura Pakualaman gamelan leadership from his father in 1962. The musical style of the Pura Pakualaman had traditional shared elements of both the Yogyakarta Sultan's palace, and, influence by intermarriage, with the Sunan's palace in Solo (Surakarta). Notoprojo, following extended residencies in Solo, furthered this process, perhaps to the point in which the style of the Pura Pakualaman could be heard as largely Solonese in character.

He composed music for the new genre of sendratari dance-drama in the 1960s, including the first performances held at the Lara Jonggrang temple complex in Prambanan. He collaborated with the choreographer Bagong Kussudiardjo. His over 250 compositions include numerous light gamelan pieces (lagu dolanan) and experimental works (kreasi baru), including many which are prominent in the gamelan repertory. He revived several moribund or extinct art forms from Yogyakarta history, including wayang gedhog. Scores of his works, as well as a two-volume set of his notation for vocal music, are published by the American Gamelan Institute.

He led the gamelan at the Indonesian Pavilion of the 1964 New York World's Fair. He moved to Valencia, California in 1971 and taught at the California Institute of the Arts until 1992, in addition to work at University of California, Berkeley, San Jose State University, and many other universities in the US and Canada. In 1992 he retired and returned to Indonesia. His home is both a residence for young artists, and a site of regular performances and gatherings of some of Java's best gamelan artists.

He died in Yogyakarta on August 30, 2007, at the age of 104 in the reckoning of years in the Javanese calendar.[2] He was instrumental in spreading the appreciation and knowledge of Javanese gamelan around the world. According to Mantle Hood, "It is accepted that no other Indonesian has even approached the contributions of this man in helping the world know the great gamelan traditions of Java."[3]

List of selected works sorted by form

  • Bubaran: Purnama Siddi, sléndro pathet sanga; Vadera, pélog pathet barang, arranged 3vv
  • Dolanan: Dong Dong Dung, sléndro pathet manyura; Gemibira Loka, sléndro pathet sanga; Kaé Lho Kaé, sléndro pathet sanga; Kuwi Apa Kuwi, pélog pathet barang; Ok Ok, pélog pathet barang; Paman Tani, sléndro pathet manyura; Rondha Malam, sléndro pathet sanga; Sepur Trutuk, pélog pathet lima; Sundra Nirmala, sléndro pathet manyura; Tari Bali, pélog pathet barang
  • Extended work: Jaya Manggala Gita (1952)
  • Gendhing: Hanrang Yuda, pélog pathet barang; Gotong Royong, pélog pathet nem; Gumarang, pélog pathet barang; Jahnawi, pélog pathet nem; Jangèr, pélog pathet barang; Kemanak Mangkungkung, sléndro pathet sanga; Lokananta, pélog pathet barang; Mbangun Kuta, pélog pathet nem; Pangéran Diponegoro, pélog pathet nem; Windu Kencana, pélog pathet lima
  • Jineman: Mijil Wida Watèn, pélog ?pathet nem; Tatanya, pélog pathet barang
  • Ketawang: Alun, sléndro pathet sanga; Basanta, pélog pathet nem; Cakrawala, sléndro pathet sanga; Dana Wara, pélog pathet nem; Duksina, pélog pathet nem; Gendhing Purnama Siddi, sléndro pathet sanga; Kontap, pélog pathet nem; Kumudasmara, pélog pathet nem; Prihatin, pélog pathet lima; Sambang Dalu, pélog pathet nem; Santi, pélog pathet nem; Sasmitèngrat, pélog pathet barang; Sri Lulut, pélog pathet barang; Sumekar, pélog pathet nem; Sundari, pélog pathet barang; Swédakara, sléndro pathet nem; Wedyasmara, pélog pathet nem
  • Ladrang: Argolagu, pélog pathet nem; Argopèni, sléndro pathet manyura; Dupara, pélog pathet nem; Dwi Rocana, pélog pathet barang; Jati Aish, pélog pathet lima; Purnama Sidi, sléndro pathet sanga; Manjila, pélog pathet lima; Rondha Malam; Srenggara, pélog pathet lima; Sri Duhita, pélog pathet barang; Suka Bagya, pélog pathet barang; Westminster, sléndro pathet sanga (melody by Laras Sumbaga)
  • Lagu: Cacah Jiwa, pélog pathet lima; Catrik, pélog pathet nem; Gerilya, pélog pathet nem; Gora Marga, pélog pathet barang; KORPRI, pélog pathet barang; Membantu Sensus, sléndro pathet sanga; Paman Tani Sagung, pélog pathet nem; Pulo Bali, pélog pathet barang; Repelita, pélog pathet nem; Sepuran, sléndro pathet manyura; Sopir Bécak, pélog pathet nem; Ya, Ya, Ya, pélog pathet barang
  • Lancaran: Aja Ngono, pélog pathet nem; Banting Stir, sléndro pathet nem; Catrik, pélog pathet nem; Dahana, pélog pathet barang; Gembala, pélog pathet lima; Graksa, pélog pathet nem; Gugur Gunung, pélog pathet barang; Kagok Pangrawit, pélog pathet lima; Keluarga Berencana, pélog pathet barang; Mindana, pélog pathet nem; Modernisasi Désa, pélog pathet nem; Orde Baru, pélog pathet barang; Pawaka, pélog pathet barang; Penghijauan, sléndro pathet manyura; Rudita, pélog pathet nem; Tahu Tempé, pélog pathet nem (arranged); Tari Payung, sléndro and pélog; Umban, pélog pathet nem; Udan Angin, pélog pathet barang; Waditra, pélog pathet nem; Welasan Aish, pélog pathet lima
  • Sekar: Sekar Ageng Puspa Lalita, pélog pathet nem; Dhudha Gandrung, sléndro pathet sanga; Madya Lalita, pélog pathet barang
  • Sendratari arrangements: Alleluyah; Arjuna Wiwaha; Bandung Bandawasa; Calonarang; Damar Wulan; Dewi Saraswati; Diponegoro; Hamlet; Kelahiran dan Kebangitan Kristus; Mangkubumi; Menuntut Balas; Nyai Ratu Kidul/Loro Kidul; Pangéran Mangkubumi; Ramayana "Rara Jonggrang"; Samgita Nusantara; Samgita Pancasona; Sri Tanjung; Sumpah Palapa
  • Other: Ayo Nyang Ganéfo, sléndro pathet manyura; Banting Stir, pélog pathet liwung (Sundanese); Bedhayan Sundari, pélog pathet lima; Bémo, sléndro pathet sanga; Ginada, sléndro pathet manyura; Holopis Kontul Baris, sléndro pathet sanga; Kanca Tani, sléndro pathet sanga; Kartika, pélog pathet nem; Kawiwitan Meditasi/Konsentrasi, pélog pathet nem; Liwung Bayang Kara, pélog pathet nem; Mbangun Désa, pélog pathet barang; Nara Karva, sléndro pathet manyura; Sensus, sléndro pathet sanga; Sesaji, pélog pathet nem; Srepegan Mandira, sléndro pathet nem; Taman Sari, pélog pathet nem; Tri Narpati, pélog pathet nem; Welasan Lancar, pélog pathet barang; Welesan Rudatin, pélog pathet barang; Welesan Ruwida, pélog pathet nem; Welesan Tandaish, pélog pathet nem; Wus Miyos Ing Ratri, pélog pathet nem


As performer/director


  • The music of K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, performed by Gamelan Sekar Tunjung, released on CMP Records, 1994.

Writings and notation

  • Javanese Vocal Notation, a collection of notation for male voices (gerong) and female voices (pesindhen) for nearly 300 pieces, written in his own hand during the years he taught at California Institute of the Arts. Several of the piece are his own compositions. The collection was started by Leslie Dono Isworo, and edited by Jody Diamond with assistance from I.M. Harjito and Djoko Waluyo, with an introduction by Alex Dea and Laurie Kottmeyer. Both the slendro and pelog volumes of vocal notation, as well as a collection of his compositions, are available for download in the library of the American Gamelan Institute.


  1. [Personal communication.]
  2. "'Hari Ini, Empu Karawitan' Berpulang di Usia 104 Tahun". Tempo Interaktif. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  3. Hood, Ki Mantle (8 Aug 1992). "The Music of K.R.T. WASITODININGRAT". Ethnomusicology Research Digest No. 89. Archived from the original on 23 February 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2013.


  • R. Anderson Sutton. "Wasitodiningrat [Tjokrowasito, Wasitodipuro, Wasitolodoro], Kanjeng Radèn Tumenggung [Ki]". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)

Further reading

  • I N. Wenten. The Creative World of Ki Wasitodipuro: the Life and Work of a Javanese Gamelan Composer (dissertation, UCLA, 1996)
  • Judith O. Becker. Traditional Music in Modern Java. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1980.
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