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1 Chapter 7: Music of Indonesia. 2 Terms & Ideas to know  Gamelan  Tuning and scales (Pélog and Sléndro)  Gendhing  Loud and Soft Playing styles 

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Presentation on theme: "1 Chapter 7: Music of Indonesia. 2 Terms & Ideas to know  Gamelan  Tuning and scales (Pélog and Sléndro)  Gendhing  Loud and Soft Playing styles "— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Chapter 7: Music of Indonesia

2 2 Terms & Ideas to know  Gamelan  Tuning and scales (Pélog and Sléndro)  Gendhing  Loud and Soft Playing styles  Differences between Bali and Java

3 3 Southeast Asia/South Pacific  Australia (didjeridu)  Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.  Indonesia  Java  Bali

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5 5 General Information on Indonesia  Old cultural traditions, but much cultural diversity due to migration  Boundaries formed during centuries of European colonial domination; many islands  A national language adopted in early twentieth century, but more than two hundred separate languages exist.  Pan-Indonesian popular culture is developing, but regional diversity continues.

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7 7 Heavy Population Centers  Jakarta in Java is the Indonesian capital, about nine million people (New York City is 7,500,000); extreme wealth and poverty  Central Java is one of the most densely populated regions in the world

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9 9 Two Major Ethnic Groups  Javanese is the largest ethnic group on the island (about 2/3); common language and cultural traits  Sudanese, Language and arts are distinct from the Javanese

10 10 General Qualities of the People  Mostly a farming society, Wet-rice agriculture  Religious practices: most profess to be Muslim, but only a small percentage follow orthodox practice. More adhere to an Islam- Hinduism-Buddhism blend. Layer of belief in benevolent and mischievous spirits and in ancestor veneration

11 11 Kraton in Yogyakarta  One of Java’s two major royal courts; official home of the tenth sultan  A complex of small buildings and open pavilions  Earthly symbol of the ordered universe; oriented to the cardinal directions  Ruler lives at the very center; imbued with divine powers  Kraton still regarded as a cultural center

12 12 Gamelon of the Kraton in Yogyakarta 

13 13 What Is a Gamelan?

14 14  Gamelan refers to set of instruments unified by their tuning, and by decorative carvings and paintings  Primarily consists of several kinds of metal slab instruments and tuned knobbed gongs  Also normally have at least one drum and may have other kinds of instruments; vary in size; some ancient gamelans have small number of instrument  Those in central Java usually large with wide range of instruments

15 15 Gamelan ‘Ensembles’  Gamelan ensembles are kept in many of these court pavilions  Some old and used for rare ritual occasions  Some newer and used more frequently  Most believed to contain special powers  Are shown respect and given offerings

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17 17 Court Gamelans Were Often Quite Formal

18 18 Four Sample Instruments  Rebab (fiddle)  Saron and Gender are slab instruments (xylophones)  Bonang uses knobbed gongs

19 19 Gamelan video from Bali (JVCv9-1 “Sekar jupun”)  Begins with knobbed gong players alternating with players of xylophone-type instrument  The main body of the piece begins with double-headed drum  Large gong marks dividing point; the small cymbals are almost constant  Notice suling (flute) and rebab (fiddle)

20 20 Gamelans Serve Various Purposes Now  Used in all-night performances of shadow plays  Classical Javanese dance rehearsed regularly and performed for special palace functions  More activities outside of the court in contemporary society; sponsored by private individuals, national radio station, public schools and colleges

21 21 Some Universities in the U.S. now have Gamelans

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23 23 Pythagorean vs. Equal Tempered Tuning Problem: The Pythagorean Comma There are several ways to explain the Pythagorean comma. In a nutshell you cannot tune a circle of Pythagorean 5ths and end up where you started. ***** Start from C and tune perfect 5ths all the way around to B#. You will find that C and B# are not in tune. *****

24 24 A Pythagorean perfect 5th is 702 cents. 702+702+702+702+702+702+702+702+702+702 +702+702= 8424 cents A half step is divided into 100 cents. There are 12 half steps to an octave. Therefore, an octave is 1200 cents. 1200+1200+1200+1200+1200+1200+1200= 8400 cents 8424 - 8400 = 24 cents = Pythagorean Comma Result: From the 17 th century to the present, the music of the Western Hemisphere has used Equal Temperament, created by lowering the perfect 5 th from 702 cents to 700 cents.

25 25 See more information at: perament.html

26 26 Present-day gamelans tuned to one of two scale systems  Sléndro = Five-tone system made up of nearly equidistant intervals; normally notated 1-2-3-5-6 (no 4)  Pélog = Seven-tone system made up of large and small intervals; normally notated 1-2-3-4-5-6-7  Gamelans may consist entirely of one or the other or may have a full set of instruments for each system (double ensemble)  The scale systems are incompatible and rarely played simultaneously

27 27 Arrangement of Instruments  No standard arrangement of the instruments in the performance space  Almost without exception, they are placed at right angles to one another  Reflects Javanese concern with the cardinal directions  Larger instruments generally in the back, smaller in the front

28 28 Two major groupings of instruments  “Loud-playing” are associated with festivals, processions, and other noisy outdoor events; strictly instrumental; drums and louder metal instruments used  “Soft-playing” are intended for more intimate gatherings, often indoors; involved singing; instruments are played softly

29 29 Example of Javanese Gamelan  More formal and sedate than Bali  CD: A Javanese Ghendhing (Gamelan composition) in performance  CD 2/Track 3: “Bubaran Kembang Pacar”  An example of loud-playing style  Uses the pélog scale system, with large and small intervals

30 30 Gamelan construction  Bronze is the preferred metal  Brass and iron are also used, especially in rural areas; cheaper  Bronze gamelan instruments are forged in a long and difficult process; metal worker held in high esteem; forging requires great skill  Forging also imbued with mystical significance

31 31 Construction (cont.)  Process is believed to make one especially vulnerable to dangerous forces in the spirit world; smiths make ritual preparation  Largest gongs require a full month of labor; a truckload of coal  A month of meditation, prayer, fasting, and preparation by the smith  Careful handling; a false hit can crack the gong and ruin the work

32 32 Each Gamelan is Generally a Unique Set  Would look and sound out of place in another ensemble  Attempting to copy the tuning and design of palace instruments used to be forbidden  Reserved for the ruler and his power  Great care is taken to arrive at a pleasing tuning; one that is seen to fit the particular physical condition of the instruments; fits the taste of the individual owner

33 33 Javanese music is closely interrelated with other performing arts  “Concerts” of gamelan music rare; more often as social event  Might be played to commemorate birth, circumcision, wedding; or sponsored by family as background music for social event; guests socialize and talk freely  Most often performed as accompaniment for dance or theater

34 34 Gamelan and Drama  The ensemble might accompany a drama based on Javanese legendary history  Often used in shadow puppet theater—wayang kulit; Performances normally last until dawn  Master puppeteer, dhalang, operates all the puppets; story typically puppeteer’s own rendition of a well-known story, or episode from the Ramayana or Mahabharata  Musicians do not play constantly, but must be ready to respond to a signal from the puppeteer; a good musician knows many hundreds of pieces

35 35 The shadow puppet show (wayang kulit)  JVCv10-2.  CD 2:4 – “Playon Lesum” (slendro pathet nam)  First one begins in soft style; become loud; ends after repeating the first gongan, when puppet uses signal  Second loud-playing style; the saron plays some variation phrases; tailored

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37 37 Bali: A Small Island Just East of Java  Spectacular beauty; most people involved in some kind of artistic work (sadly, recent bombing)  Blend of Hindu and Buddhist practices; not as much Islam influence

38 38 Balinese Gamelan  Music similar to Java, but not the same; more variety of ensembles; music more dynamic and exciting  Instruments tuned slightly off to create “shimmering” sound

39 39 “Kosalia Arini”  CD example (2:5) older piece but notice more asymmetical, less “stiff” quality than Javanese  By Wayan Beratha

40 40 Balinese Gamelan

41 41 Indonesian Popular Music  Many popular styles  Example: Krakatau  CD 2:6 Shufflendang-Shufflending (excerpt)

42 42 Terms & Ideas to know  Gamelan  Tuning and scales (Pélog and Sléndro)  Gendhing  Loud and Soft Playing styles  Differences between Bali and Java

43 43 Homework: due Wednesday, 4/12 Online Quiz Questions: 1.What is a gendhing, and what are the roles of each gamelan instrument in a Javanese gendhing? 2.What features of the Balinese gamelan gong kebyar music (“Kosalia Arini”) compare & contrast with the two Javanese gamelan examples?

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