Intro.gamelan

Intro.gamelan - INTRODUCTION TO JAVANESE GAMELAN Notes for...

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INTRODUCTION TO JAVANESE GAMELAN Notes for Music 451 (Javanese Gamelan-Beginners) Preface . .................................. 1 Background . ............................ 2 Instrument . ............................. 2 Notation . ................................ 4 Tuning System . ........................ 4 Melodic Organization . ............... 7 Melody…………………………….8 Musical Time……………………. 18 Structure………………………… 20 Social and Performance Context . .... 22 Bibliography . ........................... 23 Discography . 23 Glossary . .............................. . 24 Preface In my experience teaching gamelan at Wesleyan university, it is always difficult to find a suitable reading for beginning gamelan student. Much of the literature on Javanese gamelan is either too general or too specifically detailed in content. I hope this booklet will serve its purpose. 1 As a performance course, the emphasis of gamelan class is to provide the student with first hand hands-on experience to play gamelan. Thus, this booklet emphasizes on the performance practice of gamelan, albeit in a rudimentary level. Also included in the booklet are a few sections on the performance context of gamelan in Java; they are meant to provide background for further discussion. Like any manual for learning gamelan, in this booklet notation is used as an aid for learning. However, it should be noted that although notation has become a part of gamelan tradition for about a century, basically gamelan is still the product of oral tradition. Listening, imitating and observing are the thrust of traditional gamelan learning. In spite of the use of notation, it is important that gamelan students have an opportunity to play gamelan aurally. This is because full experience in gamelan is fulfilled when one is able to feel the relationship between his or her part with the other. I put together this booklet base on previous handout notes for my students. I would like to thank my student-assistants who have helped me to put together such handout materials; in particular Cindy Benton and Marc Perlman who were my assistants in writing a handout notes entitled “Javanese Gamelan Instruments and Vocalists” (1977). Another handout notes incorporated in this book is entitled “Gamelan Music of Java” [1980]. Thank also to Topher Sebest, a devoted gamelan student, and Maria Medonça, a graduate student in music, who are my technical assistance in producing this booklet. Sumarsam Middletown, October, 1988. Revised for Wesleyan’s gamelan webpage, Fall 1999. Last revised, Fall 2002. 1 Two books of introduction to gamelan has appeared after the publication of this booklet: Lindsay (1992) and Sorrell (1990). Students are assigned to read the selected chapters of Sorrell’s book.
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2 Background Tanah air, land and water, is an Indonesian expression equivalent to “fatherland”. This is because the many thousand islands of Indonesia, locating in between the continents of Asia and Australia and stretching from northern Sumatra to western New Guinea, spreads across almost 3,400 miles of ocean (about the distance from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific in the United States). This geoghraphical setting and their historical development, brought about Indonesia's diversity of its people and cultures.
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course MUSC 113 taught by Professor Mendonca during the Spring '08 term at Kenyon.

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Intro.gamelan - INTRODUCTION TO JAVANESE GAMELAN Notes for...

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