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is a type of ensemble and music found in Indonesia.
The two primary locations for gamelan are the islands of
Java and Bali.
There are many types of gamelan, but many of them share two common features:
the presence of gongs, and the use of metallophones (keyboard instruments thathave metal keys).
The preferred metal for gamelan keyboard instruments is
the difference between bali and java
- *can feature vocals
- *allows for some “improvisation” or design in performance
- *original purpose: courtly entertainment
- *stoic, reserved style (very few changes in tempo and dynamics
- *vocals rarely employed
- * typically, strictly composed and rehearsed to perfection
- *community owned
- *flamboyant (numerous, often sudden changes in tempo and dynamics)
The gamelan gong _______ is one of the most widely found and popular types of gamelanfound in Bali
The word “kebyar” means
are keyboard instruments with metal banrs.In a gamelan gong kebyar, there are several varieties of these, corresponding todifferent ranges of pitches. The metallophones are played with one beater only,while the other hand is used to dampen the keys from excessive ringing.
are discs of bronze with a raised center; this is where the gong isstruck. There are also some instruments known as “gong chimes” in the West.These are sets of upturned small gongs, played like a keyboard with two sticks. InBali, these gong chimes can be played by multiple players simulataneously.
is often used to provide aural cues to the other ensemblemembers, or also to dancers.
bowed string instrumen
used like a timekeeper
is a small set ofcymbals used to provide color in the ensemble.
Tuning systems change
changes from region to region
Gamelan music is performed:
- • in temples, for religious ceremonies and festivals
- • as accompaniment to traditional dance
- • as accompaniment to certain theatrical forms
- • in competitions
- • for tourists
There are basically three “jobs” or functions thatinstruments perform:
- 1. tracing the form of the composition
- 2. melody
- 3. leading or “cueing”
gongs typically serve this function. Gong players will strike thegong (or gongs) on important beats in the time cycle. Also, the kempli is used as atimekeeper, often striking on every beat.
Tracing the form
Indonesian gamelan music has no harmony. Instead, the various sectionsof metallophones all perform melodic lines. The “core melody” – that is, theactual “tune” of a composition – is often buried in the middle of the orchestration,while the upper-register keyboards perform melodic elaboration (kotekan).
Typically the drummer leads the ensemble by providing aural cues.Sometimes, a keyboard player can serve this function as well. Leading musiciansoften need to pay attention to dancers, if they are playing music for traditionaldance. This is because at times, the ensemble needs to take a cue from thedancer(s).
is melodic elaboration, usually performed by the upper-register metallophones.
Kotekan is achieved by
combining two interlocking parts.
each pair of metalaphones are is slightly out of
are two theatrical art forms in Indonesia that make useof gamelan music or principles.
Kecak and Wayang Kulit
Both use as their source material two Hindu epic poems, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Kecak & Wayang Kulit
is a form of shadow puppetry in which a single puppeteer (the dalang) executes a performance that lasts for many hours, typically from dusk to dawn.
executes his performance from memory, controlling all puppets and speaking all character voices.
A gamelan ensemble accompanies
is most popular in Java, although it may be found throughout Indonesia.
Performed by groups of male actors. A few serve as principle characters, while alarge body of men and boys serve as a “chorus”, constantly chanting rhythmicsyllables (that sound like “chuck”) in interlocking patterns. A few men may also make their voices sound like melodic gamelan tones, simulating a gamelan accompaniment to the drama.
Kecak was developed in the
1930s primarily as tourist entertainment. It is most popular in Bali.
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