Tag Archives: bali music notation

Tell me about Balinese traditional singing – Part IV

The final and most serious category of Balinese singing is called kekawin. Also known as Sekar Agung (big flower) or wirama, these are long songs used to accompany many Hindu rituals such as weddings, tooth filings and death rites. Kekawin … Continue reading

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What is legong?

An extremely basic definition of legong is a dance traditionally performed by pre-pubescent girls in the palaces of feudal Bali. The word legong has been interpreted differently by a number of academies and its origins are unclear. One translation is … Continue reading

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What is Rangda?

Thought to be the Balinese dramatic manifestation of the Goddess of the underworld, Durga, Rangda is indeed a fearsome sight. Fiery tongued with bulging bloodshot eyes, she is evil personified. The word Rangda in ancient high Balinese means “widow” and … Continue reading

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Do Balinese have written music?

There are around forty different types of gamelan in Bali, each with its own distinct repertoire called ‘gending or ‘tabuh’. These gending may vary in style and sometimes nomenclature from village to village but generally they are recognizable enough for … Continue reading

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How do Balinese learn and remember gamelan music?

Balinese gamelan music is seldom notated. Therefore, gamelan musicians almost never learn music from a score as one does in the western tradition. As with a great deal of traditional oriental music, gamelan is learnt by rote, passed on from … Continue reading

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

In Bali, there are in fact around thirty-five different types of gamelan which could be considered rare. Among the very rarely seen or heard is the sweet-sounding seven tone semara pagulingan, a remnant of the court era. According to research, … Continue reading

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