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Balinese Music Compared to the Composer: Bela Bartok. By: Samantha Tagle . Population: 3,151,000 Highest Elevation in Bali is Mount Agung which is 3,000 meters above sea level. Bali is a very fertile for agricultural crop region because of its rainfall . . Geographical Influences .

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Balinese music compared to the composer bela bartok
Balinese Music Compared to the Composer: Bela Bartok

By: Samantha Tagle

  • Population: 3,151,000

  • Highest Elevation in Bali is Mount Agung which is 3,000 meters above sea level.

  • Bali is a very fertile for agricultural crop region because of its rainfall.

Geographical influences
Geographical Influences

  • Landmass: 5, 532 km(2)

  • Natural Resources: Rice, Coffee, Wood


  • Balinese: 89%

  • Javanese: 7%

  • Baliaga:1%

  • Madurese: 1%

    Balinese and Indonesian are the main languages that are spoken in Bali, while English is a common third language.


  • Balinese Hinduism 93. 18%

  • Islam 4.79%

  • Christianity 1.38%

  • Buddhism 0.64%


  • Bali is famous for their different forms of art which include paintings, sculptures, woodcarvings, handcrafts, and performing arts.

  • A series of ceremonies and rituals called Manusayadnya is performed for each stage of life.

  • Death and cremation is usually the biggest ceremony. The cremation ceremonies are colorful, exciting and loud. They require a lot of preparation which can take years after the death. In the mean time the body is temporarily burried.

Traditional balinese music
Traditional Balinese Music

  • Gamelan: Name of a Balinese orchestra and a type of instrument.

  • Completely percussion

  • Idiom: Folk/ Dance

  • Music used for religious rituals

Gamelan orchestra
Gamelan Orchestra

  • 15-20 players- no conductor

  • Heterophony- layers of main melody played at the same time

  • Complicated web of sound

  • Four groups called Keteg

  • Gongs of different sizes mark cycles of music-Gongan

  • Lower pitch- longer note values

  • Melodic line called Balungan

  • Solo instruments played very fast


  • Gamelan

  • Gongs

  • Wood xylophones

  • Cymbals

  • Flutes

  • Drums

  • Bamboo Flutes


  • Gong Wadon: The largest Balinese Gong (Bass)

  • Gong Lanang: Slight higher pitch than the Wadon

  • Kempur: Mid points in the metric cycle

  • Klintong: High pitched played with a hard mallet for a piercing song

Bamboo xylophones
Bamboo Xylophones

  • Gambang: a pair of two xylophones played with double mallets

  • Gamelan JogedBumbang: 10 bar xylophone with bars suspended in a wooden frame- played with rubber headed mallets


  • Suling Bali: End Blown bamboo flute which plays the scales

  • Played with a circular breathing technique

Bela bartok
Bela Bartok

  • March 25, 1881- September 26,1945

  • Greatest Hungarian composer

  • Grew up in the Greater Hungary of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

  • Spent early years of childhood away from other children because he had smallpox. This is when he spent most of his time listening to his mom play

Bela bartok continued
Bela Bartok Continued

  • Lived in poverty

  • Became sick with leukemia

  • The ASCAP (American Society for Composer, Authors, and Publishers) helped Bartok get better treatment

  • Died on September 26, 1945 in a New york hospital with his wife and son holding each hand


  • Taught himself composition by reading scores 

  • Interested in other folk tradition music

  • Went to PozsonyAcadamy and after he graduated he started his career as a concert pianist.

  • Studied folk music of many different coutries

  • Wanted to analyze major portions of the world's folk music


  • As a teenager, Bartok wrote chamber music in the style of Brahms under the influence of composer ErnoDohnanyi.

  • Influenced by Richard Strauss's perfomance of Also SprachZarathrustra

  • Bartok then combined his passion for Strauss with his Hungarian nationalism and produced Kossuth, his first major work.

  • Influenced by folk music from around the world

Prominent works
Prominent Works

  • Became a music instructor at the Budapest Academy in 1907

  • Did this for over 25 years

  • Performed in 630 concerts in 22 countries

  • Composed Concerto for Orchestra which Bartok's most popular piece

Music style
Music Style

  • motoristic rhythms- irregular meters and off beat accents

  • -textures- homophonic

  • harmony is result of contrapuntal movement- out of character of the melodies

  • polymodality

  • The music if Bali inspired Bela Bartok's No. 109 piece "From the Island of Bali"

  • Octatonic- combining 2 four note units

  • chromatic

  • polymodality- combining if different modes using same tonic

  • C# -ding/ dIng D - dong/dOng
E - deng/dEng 
G#- dung/dUng 
A - dang/dAng


  • Binary Form

  • Begins soft then progresses to faster tempo

  • 6/8 time then transitions to 4/4

  • Both hands move up octave then back down with sforzando

  • Sustained base with contrapunal movements

  • Octatonic Scales

  • Diminished fifth- atonal sound of Balinese music

  • Alternating hands- complex nature

Works cited
Works Cited