We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Music in Bali

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Lisa Gold

Publication Date - October 2004

ISBN: 9780195141498

208 pages
Book with CD/DVD
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Music in Bali is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visit www.oup.com/us/globalmusic for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study.
Music in Bali introduces the ensemble tradition of Balinese music, reflecting cooperative aspects of the island's social organization. Drawing on many years of study with Balinese performers in the United States and extensive fieldwork in Bali, author Lisa Gold presents contemporary Balinese performance within its cultural and historical context, linking Bali's rich past to its current role in modern, globalized society. She illustrates how new compositions borrow material from earlier traditions while also allowing for individual expression and innovation in vibrant present-day culture. By describing various performances--from a temple ceremony, to a shadow puppet performance, to a masked dance drama--Music in Bali surveys a wide range of performance contexts, from the highly sacred to the secular. It looks at the interconnected layers of the Balinese musical tradition, showing how the island's music, dance, theater, and ritual are intertwined.
Music in Bali is enhanced by eyewitness accounts of local performances, interviews with key performers, and vivid illustrations. Packaged with a 70-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed in the book, it features guided listening and hands-on activities that encourage readers to engage actively and critically with the music.

About the Author(s)

Lisa Gold teaches at the University of California at Berkeley where she earned her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a specialization in Balinese and Javanese music in ritual & theater, gamelan gender wayang, and shadow puppetry. Other research interests include transmission and communicability, folklore and folk music of the British Isles, oral performance and improvisation, music and space and place, mediatization, and performance eco-systems. Gold has been a Visiting Professor at a number of institutions including Colorado College. She is an active member of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Gamelan Sari Raras and ShadowLight. She has performed and conducted extensive research in Bali and the U.S., and is the author of a number of articles, including a chapter in Performing Arts in Postmodern Bali: Changing Interpretations, Founding Traditions. Graz Studies in Ethnomusicology (2013), the Bali article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and a published paper presented at the International Seminar and Festival of Indonesian Music, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (2016).

Table of Contents

    CD Track List
    1. The Balinese Ceremonial Soundscape: Simultaneity of Soundings
    Place, Time, and Circumstance
    The Act of Offering
    Odalan (Temple Ceremonies) and Ramé (Full, Boisterous, Active)
    Spatial Orientation
    Cycles of Time
    Large-Scale Time: Stories and History
    Cultural Tourism
    Thinking in Threes: Historical Periods, Degrees of Sacredness, and Spatial Orientation of the Performing Arts
    The All-Encompassing Adat (Tradition)
    In the Sacred Space of the Inner Courtyard (Jeroan): Old-Period Genres as Offerings
    In the Ceremonial Space of the Middle Courtyard (Jaba Tengah): Middle-Period Genres
    The More Secular Space of the Outer Courtyard (Jaba): New Creations and Entertainment
    2. Instruments: Materials, Tuning, and Timbre
    The Power of Bronze
    Tuning and Timbre
    The Waves of Paired Tuning: A Gamelan's Breath of Life
    Tuning Systems, Scales, and Notation
    Gamelan Gong Kebyar: The Explosive Twentieth-Century Style
    Instrument Families in Gamelan Music
    The Gongs
    Cycles of Time in Music: Gongs that Mark Colotomic Meters
    Keyed Instruments (Metallophones)
    Gender-Type Metallophones
    The Low Metallophone Instruments
    The Gangsa Family
    Other Layers of Melody
    Drums: Aural Conductor of the Ensemble
    Cymbals (Ceng-Ceng)
    3. Interlocking and Layering: Musical Roles in the Ensemble
    The Musical Community of a Gamelan Sekaha
    The Stratified Texture of Gamelan: Simultaneous Melodies
    The Pokok (Basic Melody)
    Communal Elaboration: Interlocking Parts (Kotekan)
    Gangsa Kotekan: Polos and Sangsih
    Single-Note Kotekan
    Syncopated Patterning Kotekan
    Expansion and Contraction of a Kotekan Pattern
    Reyong Figuration: Melodic Interlocking and Percussive Accentuation
    Comparison of Reyong and Trompong
    Leadership, Cueing, and Ensemble Interaction
    Gaya (Charismatic Gesture)
    Conclusion: Putting the Layers Together
    4. The World of Stories: Integration of Music, Dance, and Drama in Traditional Balinese Theater
    Playing the Past in the Present
    Genres in the Old Category: Sacred Ensembles
    Genres in the Middle Category: The Hindu Javanese Legacy
    Genres in the New Category: Drawing from Middle and Old and Breaking Free
    The Idea of Completeness: Revisiting Ramé
    Assumptions and Conventions in Traditional Balinese Theater
    The Concept of a "Story:" Orality and Literacy in Performance
    The Panji Cycle
    Levels of Abstraction and Accessibility
    The Role of Interpreters
    Genres of Theater
    Wayang Kilut (Shadow Puppet Theater)
    The Dalang
    The Progression of a Performance
    Taksu: Divine Inspiration and "Shifting Focal Points"
    5. Characterization, Movement, and Gong Structures That Enliven Balinese Theater
    Aesthetics and Character Types: Halus (Refined) and Keras (Strong)
    Male, Female, and Androgynous Dance Styles
    Topeng (Masked Dance Drama)
    The Characters
    Progression of a Topeng Play
    Free Choreography
    Free versus Fixed Choreography
    Elements of Dance and Music in Topeng and Legong
    Vocabulary of Movements
    Angsel: Dance and Music Articulation
    Colotomic Meters, Delineating Theatrical Situation and Mood
    Gabor Longgor
    Gamelan Balaganjur
    Listening to Two Topeng Pieces
    6. Large-Scale Form in Gong Kebyar and Its Antecedents
    "Classical" Tripartite Form
    Three Contrasting Movements
    Gineman: Metrically Free Preludes
    Listening to an Entire Piece: The Tripartite Form in "Sinom Ladrang"
    Innovations in Form and Texture in Kebyar Kreasi Baru (New Creations)
    Form in Kebyar: Cyclicity and Linearity
    New Textures
    Kebyar Passages: A Display of Gaya
    Kebyar-style Gineman: Gegenderan
    "Jaya Semara" ("Victorious Divine Love/Love Deity")
    Transformation of Form and Other Innovations
    Gong Kebyar Competitions at the Bali Arts Festival
    Kreasi Baru Trends at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century
    Conclusion: Traditional Arts in a Rapidly Changing World
    Arts Workshop/Studio Collectives (Sanggar)
    7. Conclusion: Three Themes Revisited at a Cremation Ceremony

Related Titles