music reading java and bali

music reading java and bali - Figure 2.28 Pancer...

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Figure 2.28. Pancer transformation in eastern Javanese gamelan repertory; music accompanies an opening dance (called ngremo), the characters’ entrances and exits, and vocal interludes. The opening dance by itself has taken on the status of symbol of eastern Javaneseness; just the sound of the accompaniment is enough to conjure the region’s separate identity (Sutton 1991). Eastern Javanese gamelan style makes considerable use of a musical process that is quite common throughout Java and Bali. One way to elaborate or expand a melody is to insert a new note between each of the melody’s existing notes; when the inserted note is the same each time, musicians call it a pancer. In some eastern Javanese gamelan pieces, an essential melody goes through several different transformations, each of which involves the saron players adding a different pancer treatment. Figure 2.28 shows two eastern Javanese pancer transformations. The first version involves simply inserting a pancer note between the melody’s essential notes (see Figure 2.28a); this process lengthens the melody without completely altering its melodic character. A second transformation, called a double pancer (see Figure 2.28b), extends the melody even further; it also lends a new rhythmic twist to the melody. Of course, the other instrumentalists must meet the challenge of coming up with elaborating parts that are suitably long to match the extended melodies (Sutton 1991:151). Not all of eastern Java is populated by Javanese speakers; a few enclaves speak other languages or distinct dialects and maintain cultural traditions quite removed from the mainstream Javanese. One such group is the Osing, from the Banyuwangi area at the far eastern end of the island. The Osing trace their history to the Blambangan kingdom, which was part of the Hindu-Javanese Majapahit empire in the fourteenth century; until well into the twentieth century, the Osing endeavored to maintain a separate identity from the Mataram-inf and identified more closely with the Hindu culture of Bali (close at hand across a narrow strait). One contemporary Osing genre which has gained considerable renown throughout Java is called gandrung. Gandrung performances usually last all night; they feature a young, unmarried female singer-dancer, called a gandrung, who dances with male guests for a fee. The ensemble which accompanies the singing and dancing includes gongs and gong chimes, drums, as well as a pair of violins, which provide for the usual four functional layers of sound. One gandrung instrument—a metal triangle (called kluncing) similar to
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the instrument popular in classroom rhythm bands—is unique to the region (Wolbers 1986). Regional Javanese styles and genres, such as Cirebonese topeng, Central Javanese court-
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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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music reading java and bali - Figure 2.28 Pancer...

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