Author Archives: MekarBhuana

Democracy and Equality in Balinese Gamelan Part I

Bali still has a very traditional society and the late Made Wijaya went so far as to say a ‘mediaeval’one, albeit existing and functioning in the modern world.

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What is the difference between a lesson and a workshop at Mekar Bhuana Centre?

One of the most common questions we get from potential students who contact Mekar Bhuana is what the difference is between a lesson and a workshop. So I’m going to explain this in my blog.

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Is listening part of Balinese culture?

Go to a meeting or take a Balinese to a music concert and you’ll quickly learn that Balinese prefer talking to listening.

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Gongs in Bali Part IV – What is Special about a Gong to Balinese?

If a gamelan orchestra has a hanging gong in it (not all do), it is almost always the most important instrument. It is considered the heart of the ensemble, therefore is also the instrument that can never been left out … Continue reading

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Gongs in Bali Part III – what is characteristic about Balinese gongs?

The two common types of materials for gong making are bronze and iron, with the former being more prestigious and therefore a lot more expensive.

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Gongs in Bali Part II – How many different types of gongs are there in Bali?

A gong is actually not just a round metal object that hangs in a frame and makes a sound when you hit it. There are in fact different categories of gongs in Bali which can be made of bronze, iron … Continue reading

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Gongs in Bali

To the Balinese, a gong is something that is often revered: for its sound, its prestige, its mysticism. To the lay person, we think of a gong as a hanging instrument that makes a sort of booming sound, but it … Continue reading

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How do Balinese know which gamelan orchestra to use for which ceremony?

A couple of treatises called Aji Gurnita and Pra Kempa which date to the 1800s detail a number of the main types of ceremonial gamelan orchestras, explaining their instrumentation and their function.

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At what Age do Children in Bali start learning Gamelan? Part II

As I stated in my last article, many kids in Bali these days learn traditional music simply because their parents want them to.

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At what age do children in Bali start learning gamelan?

Outside of Bali, a child who starts playing music at a kindergarten age is often considered naturally gifted, sometimes labeled a genius, a prodigy or similar. In Bali, however, this is not always so; and in fact it’s expected that … Continue reading

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