Javanese music

Javanese 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. It possesses two separate tonal systems—pélog and sléndro or salendro. Pélog contains seven tones, only five of which are used in a given composition. The intervals of pélog are unequal, and the smaller ones approximate the semitone of Western music. Sléndro is a division of the octave into five roughly equal intervals. It was believed by the Javanese to be the older system, but contemporary musicologists find evidence that sléndro was derived from pélog. Sléndro is associated with that which is masculine, and pélog with that which is feminine. The Javanese gamelan, an orchestra of tuned percussion instruments, primarily of bronze, usually accompanies a performance, particularly the Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet plays). It flourishes today in Bali, where it was introduced in the 15th cent. by Hindus escaping from the Muslim invasion of Java. Balinese gamelan is distinct from Javanese in that it is played much faster and is brighter tonally. The term gamelan includes percussion orchestras of varying function, style, size, and composition. The set of instruments known collectively as gamelan increases in value with age and with the concomitant stabilization of its individual sound. Gamelan instruments include gongs, drums, xylophones (gambang kayu), bamboo flutes (suling), and string instruments (rebab). A complete double set, or sapangkon, half tuned to pélog and half to sléndro, may number as many as 80 separate instruments. They are played two ways: according to a subtle, flowing, quiet manner associated with singing and gentle dancing, and according to a powerful, louder manner associated with heroic dance. A fixed melody is the basis for complex vocal and instrumental improvisation. The archaic gamelan, no longer heard widely in Java, is best studied in Balinese musicBalinese 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 music, of which pelog is by far the more important in Bali.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See J. Kunst, Music in Java (2 vol., 1949); D. A. Lentz, The Gamelan Music of Java and Bali (1965); S. Walton, Mode in Javanese Music (1986).

References in periodicals archive ?
Friends of the Gamelan perform both traditional Javanese music and contemporary compositions, some by members of the ensemble
Javaphilia: American Love Affairs With Javanese Music and Dance
Chile's Felipe Otondo employed microrhythms of Javanese music in the composition Irama (frame is the time interval between two successive sounds or actions).
Benamou is an ethnomusicologist at Earlham College, and is recognized by cognoscenti of Javanese music (especially in the United States) as one of the foremost non-Javanese students and scholars of vocal music in the tradition (karawitan) involving gamelan ensembles.
While Erotic triangles claims to be about Sundanese dance, Spiller's entry point into his fieldwork was through the West Javanese music tradition of kendang drumming.
I will examine how they perceive both their own role and the function of Javanese music in the process of inculturation in Indonesia.
The first chapter provides an introduction to the role of gender music in wayang, the process of performing genderan, and certain aspects of Javanese music theory, including the intricate modal system of pathet.
In addition to the human problems, the earthquake in Indonesia has damaged Javanese music, with the loss of Gamelan instruments.
Witaleben ends the second section by addressing concerns of authenticity and representation in his very unique situation whereby he is an "outsider" teaching Chinese and Javanese music in Hong Kong to "insiders.
5) In Didik's work, an example is a moment when an elderly woman, whom he impersonates in traditional costume, dances to traditional East Javanese music.
DIVA, the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, will host a concert of Javanese music tonight at the DIVA gallery, 110 W.