Author Archives: MekarBhuana

Gender Wayang – Bali’s Most Intimate Gamelan Ensemble

If you’ve ever been to a tooth filing ceremony in Bali, you would have heard the music of gamelan gender wayang. Instruments played by either by two or four musicians in pairs, a gender wayang ensemble is Bali’s most intimate gamelan ensemble.

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How many Different Types of Balinese Gamelan are there in Bali?

In short, many! Gamelan experts the world over normally claim that there are anything between 25 and 40 types; however, so far I’ve counted 70 with the number increasing all the time as people create more different varieties.

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Is any Balinese Gamelan Music Extinct?

Bali is world famous for its gamelan music, which, to the outsider who may have been fortunate enough to have witnessed a temple ceremony, seems alive and well even in the face of globalization. At least on the surface.

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What is Angklung used for?

Across Bali, there are thousands of bronze angklung groups, perhaps as many as the ubiquitous and incredibly popular gong kebyar that originate in North Bali in the early 20th century.

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What is Angklung?

Found on a number of islands in Indonesia, notably Java, Bali and Lombok, angklung is a type of gamelan with very ancient roots. There are many theories about the origins of both the instruments and the scale, but, after nearly … Continue reading

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What are Gender Wayang?

One of the most intimate gamelan ensembles on the island, a gender wayang (gender for short) group consists of either two or four musicians. In the complete group of four, there are two medium-range instruments and two high-range. The ensemble … Continue reading

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What are Wayang Kulit?

Wayang kulit are two dimensional stick puppets made from leather with movable arms and sometimes jaws and legs. Wayang on its own simply means puppet and kulit means leather, which is what they’re made of.

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What is Barong?

It is unclear where the barong originated, however it is generally accepted that a barong is a physical manifestation of a protective spirit which guards people from evil influences. In Bali, it dates back to ancient, pre-Hindu times when animism … Continue reading

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What is Barong Berutuk?

In 2015, I went to Terunyan Village in the Batur region to check out a rare temple ceremony that is normally only held every 15 years.   My main motivation was not the ceremony itself but the fact that there was … Continue reading

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What is the function and origin of Barong Berutuk?

According to an article in the Bali Post in 2010, the origins of the Barong Berutuk of Terunyan are said to be connected to a megalithic statue that is found in Terunyan’s Pancering Jagat Temple, called Bhatara Datonta. No one … Continue reading

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