Balinese music

Balinese music

represents, to a large extent, a survival of the pre-Islamic music of Java. It was taken to Bali by Hindu Javanese in the 15th cent. and uses the tonal systems of Javanese musicJavanese music,
one of the richest and most distinctive of Asian musical cultures. It was and is of enormous importance in religious, political, and entertainment functions.
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, of which pelog is by far the more important in Bali. Balinese music sounds impetuous and noisy, in contrast to the soft, tranquil music heard currently in Java. Few gamelans, the orchestras of tuned percussion instruments, play in Java today but they flourish, their archaic forms preserved, in modern Bali. The gamelans of the princes are no longer important in Bali, but have left their influence on the village societies for music making. There are also the ceremonial gamelans of the temples.

The most important gamelan instruments are xylophones, which may be made of bronze or bamboo. Bronze xylophones are of two basic types—gangsa, whose keys are supported over a wooden resonance box, and g'ndér, whose keys have individual bamboo resonators. These instruments sometimes play the melody and sometimes they provide a brilliant figuration. Gongs, suspended singly, are used for metrical accentuation; there are also gong chimes, which are of two types. The trompong, a set of 10, is a solo instrument, and the réyong, a set of 12, is played by four men, supplying figuration. Flutes, in two sizes, are made of bamboo and are used in theatrical music. Although the name of the rebab, a two-string spike fiddle, is Persian-Arabic, the instrument probably originated in S China and is used in the music of the gambuh play. Cymbals, bell rattles, and drums supply the all-important elaborate rhythmic background. The anklung is an archaic, tuned bamboo rattle. It is not known in all parts of Bali, but gives its name to the anklung gamelan, a ceremonial gamelan which may at one time have always included anklungs.

The instrumentation and the repertory of a particular gamelan depend on its function. Each of the various forms of dance and drama has a gamelan which specializes in its music. The most recent musical development is kebyar, a restless, explosive music which discards the highly developed, balanced forms of the older music. Kebyar clubs compose their own music, often taking themes from older music. The wealthier clubs include a dancer—a young man who performs seated on the ground, dancing from the waist up. Balinese notation was invented by the Javanese who brought the music to Bali. It gives no indication of the rhythm and is little used. Music is learned by rote; it is not improvisation, however, but a sophisticated, composed art form. Balinese music has had some popularity in the West, mainly sponsored by the composer Lou HarrisonHarrison, Lou Silver,
1917–2003, American composer, b. Portland, Oreg. He studied composition in California with Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg. His early work stresses percussion while combining Western, Asian, African, and Latin American rhythms and often using
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, founder of the modern American gamelan movement.


See D. A. Lentz, The Gamelan Music of Java and Bali (1965); C. McPhee, Music in Bali (1965).

References in periodicals archive ?
Balinese Music and Dance Presented by The Hanover Theatre in collaboration with the College of the Holy Cross featuring acclaimed Balinese artists Made Bandem and Nni Luh Suasthi Bandem, joining Lynn Kremer, all professors at the College of Holy Cross.
For families, a number of Balinese traditional activities can be enjoyed onsite such as kite making, Balinese music, painting and dance lessons are planned daily.
Culture, Tourism and Cultural Tourism: Boundaries and Frontiers in Performances of Balinese Music and Dance.
I needed that blongy Balinese music or at least something ambient-daytime-Ibiza, but no - the monsoon-proofed poolside speakers introduced me to 'Ah Thaynk It's Tahm Ah Put A Rayng On the Faynger Ah'm Wrapped Around.
Bach, Burt Bacharach, Balinese music, Balkan music, Samuel Barber, Arnold Bax, Bela Bartok, Basongye (Congo), the Beatles, Jeff Beck, Ludwig van Beethoven, Alban Berg, Luciano Berio, Leonard Bernstein, Black Sabbath, Pierre Boulez, David Bowie, Dave Brubeck, Ferruccio Busoni, and Byzantine music.
The program consists primarily of compositions by Harrison, plus traditional Balinese music and premieres of music for gamelan by UO composers Brian Bice, Nate Brown, Dan Cavanagh, Micah Hayes, Ben Hunter and Jeremy Jennings.
Balinese music binds the Balinese together, realizes their history, constructs their present, and explains the festival, just as Sasak music does for the Sasak.
Burat Wangi will present a Balinese music and dance concert at 8 p.
Balinese Music and Dance Presented by The Hanover Theatre in collaboration with the College of the Holy Cross, featuring acclaimed Balinese artists Made Bandem and Nni Luh Suasthi Bandem, joining Lynn Kremer.
The CalArts Balinese Music and Dance Ensembles will perform at 8 p.
I t becomes clear that what Cooke means by "synthesis" is the transformation of Balinese source material on contact with Britten's more chromatic language: there is little sense of Balinese music further transforming Britten's style at this stage.
Saturday - Balinese music and dance written for the group Basso Bongo with guest Amy Knoles on percussion and Robert Black on bass.