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MUS1100 Exploring Music World Music Semester 1, 2006. Music of Indonesia with Dr. Made Mantle Hood. Today’s Lecture. Part I. Historical background PartII. West Sumatra Part III. Central Java Part IV. Bali. map.indonesia.jakarta.gif.

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MUS1100 Exploring Music World MusicSemester 1, 2006

Music of Indonesia


Dr. Made Mantle Hood

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Today’s Lecture

Part I. Historical background

PartII. West Sumatra

Part III. Central Java

Part IV. Bali

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Gong-chime CulturesHistorical Background:

8th Cen. Borobudur Budhist monument base reliefs of instruments

13-16th Majahpahit Hindu Javanese Empire Court Arts, music and dance for the god-king

16-19th Cen. Islamic domination and Dutch colonies

20th Cen. Island archipelago unified as Indonesia

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West Sumatra:

Minangkabau People

highlands utilize small gongs and percussion in an orchestra called talempong

Talempong - four small knobbed kettlegongs played by two to four players accompanied by drums called gandang

Gandang - double headed conical drums

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Musical example:

Trk 2Talipuak Kampai Talempong Sikatuntuang Bunga Setangkai

Played by group of elderly women from Padang Alai. Six talempong played by four players, two-headed drum played with stick and hand.

Music of Indonesia Vol. 12 – Gongs and Vocal Music from Sumatra. Smithsonian Folkways, 1996 CD2596

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Tari Piring - ‘plate dance’

  • (Kartomi 1983: 117)

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Central Java:

Gamelan - large percussion orchestra of bronze gongs, drums, string instruments and flutes.

50 to 60 musicians/singers

Four instrument groups

1. gongs

2. metallophones

3. melodic instruments

4. percussion

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  • Gong Ageng - the largest bronze gong, 1 meter in diameter, revered for its sonic/spiritual power

  • Kempul - smaller tuned gongs that punctuate melody

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  • Saron - single octave set of thick bronze slabs suspended over a single trough resonator. Played with hard wooden mallet.

    Three octaves:

    demung - low

    barung - middle

    peking - high

  • Gender - multi-octave thin bronze keys with individual bamboo resonators. Played with two padded disc mallets and acts as melodic leader.

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Java Listening Example:

Trk 6 Lancaran Manyar Sewu Sl. Manyura

  • From: Original Javanese Music: Wedding and Welcome ceremony Vol. 3Keraton Records 1991, CD 193.

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Central Javanese Gamelan

  • (Kartomi 1983:3122)

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Performance Context

Wayang Kulit - shadow puppet theatre

  • stories from the Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana

  • Dhalang or pupperteer directs orchestra, operates puppest, sing spoetry, speaks dialog for all characters

  • -typical performance lasts from 9pm to 6am

  • For wedding, circumcisions, festivals of the royal court of Yogya and Solo

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Bali: the gamelan gong gede

Gong kebyar video ‘Festival 2004

Composed by Nyoman Winda


Flashy music and costumes in

a virtuosic style

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The three octaves of the gangsa family

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  • Bronze instruments form a major part of traditional and contemporary Indonesian musical identity.

  • Gamelan in its various forms from Sumatra, Java and Bali are instruments essential to the music of Indonesia