Decoding the Significance of Pepongoten Music: A Peircean Semiotics Analysis

Azhari Akbar, Kun Setyaning Astuti


Pepongoten is a part of the traditional wedding ritual in Gayo, an area on the highland of Aceh. Its manifestation is like a lament which is sung using pitches that are hugely different from western music and using a lot of specific ornamentals. Nowadays, this lament song is accompanied by Soleng Gayo (Gayo’s traditional flute made of bamboo). Pepongoten as a lament song has a prepossessing symbol to study. This study intends to establish the symbolic meaning of the musical aspect of the Pepongoten tradition in Gayo by using the semiotics approach of Charles Sanders Peirce. The research shows that based on an analysis of Peirce's semiotic object aspects of Pepongoten music, the musical interaction between Pepongoten music and modern western music is shown by the Melisma icon (vocal technic), and the scale used. the character of the Gayo people is represented by the difference in the distance between the notes on the Pepongoten's song scale (interval) and the scales of modern western music.


Pepongoten; Semiotics; Charles Sanders Peirce; Music; Traditional

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