Monthly Archives: April 2012

Learn Ancient Gamelan Selonding at Mekar Bhuana

After the purchase of a beautiful iron selonding gamelan set, a duplicate of the ancient 10th century set from Besakih Temple, Mekar Bhuana Conservatory has immersed itself serious selonding study. And many students in the conservatory are keen to learn. … Continue reading

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Bali’s Believe It or Not

In Bali, everything is alive. Everything has a soul, so they say. Shrines, statues, even trees and boulders are ornamented with sacred black and white sarongs, as if they are human. Some ‘in the know’ people have suggested to me … Continue reading

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Mekar Bhuana’s World First Balinese Dance Tutorial Series – helping Balinese dance to ‘blossom around the world’

Have you ever tried learning Balinese dance? It can seem pretty tricky with all those flashy eye movements, wrist twist, back arching and finger wiggling! Indeed Balinese dance can be a little challenging the first time you try… Balinese dance … Continue reading

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What is Wayang Wong Part II

According to Prof. R.M Moerdowo’s book, Reflections on Balinese Traditional and Modern Arts, wayang wong as we know it today was once referred to as Barong Blasan or Barong Kedingkling. Between 1775 and 1825, the King of Klungkung, I Dewa … Continue reading

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‘Heavy Metal Magic’

Tucked away in the foothills of Mt Agung in the Klungkung Regency is the ancient village of the gamelan smiths – masters of magically charged metal – the archaic art of bronze smithery. The small village known as Tihingan (meaning bamboo) … Continue reading

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Gamelan – the Life-Breath of the Balinese

“Gamelan music and instruments are a fundamental part of the life of a Balinese which is focused around the relationship between people and god, people and nature and between all people. These three concepts of harmonious living are known as … Continue reading

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Which types of Balinese gamelan are rarely seen or heard? Part IV

The list of rarely seen or heard gamelan orchestras in Bali is long and covers many ensembles of all different sizes. Bali is home to the world’s biggest gamelan, termed appropriately ‘gong ageng’ or colloquially known as ‘gong gede’. It … Continue reading

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What is Wayang Wong Part I

If you are interested in Balinese traditional art-forms, many of you would have heard of wayang kulit: the shadow puppet show; however, the human version of these puppets, called wayang wong, is probably less familiar. It is not entirely clear … Continue reading

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Which types of Balinese gamelan are rarely seen or heard? Part III

Musical instruments have a long and ancient history in Bali. In the court treatise on Balinese gamelan music, Aji Gurnita, an attempt is made at describing the gamelan orchestras of the era. Interestingly enough, the first musical instrument referred to … Continue reading

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Which types of Balinese gamelan are rarely seen or heard? Part II

Sadly, a large number of Balinese gamelan ensembles are in fact rarely seen or heard. This is generally due to either their limited function, the difficultly of the playing style, or their public exposure. One of the most unique gamelan … Continue reading

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