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Music of Death and New Creation

Experiences in the World of Balinese Gamelan Beleganjur

For centuries the gamelan beleganjur percussion orchestra has been an indispensable part of political, social, and spiritual life on the island of Bali. Traditionally associated with warfare and rituals for the dead, the music has recently given rise to an exciting new musical style featured in contests that are attended by thousands. Ethnomusicologist Michael Bakan draws us into these intensely competitive events, in which political corruption, conflicting notions of identity, and irrepressible creativity rupture the smooth surface of cultural order.

Building from his own experiences as a beleganjur drummer, Bakan also takes us inside a distant musical world and into the lives of musicians connecting across vast cultural divides. Rich with musical examples, photographs, and an accompanying compact disc, Music of Death and New Creation is an unprecedented exploration of how music embodies and shapes life in contemporary Indonesia and beyond.

407 pages | 17 halftones, 32 musical examples, 8 tables, 1 compact disc | 6 x 9 | © 1999

Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Asian Studies: General Asian Studies

Music: Ethnomusicology

Table of Contents

List of Plates, Figures, and Musical Examples
Musical Excerpts on the Compact Disc
Part One: Awit-Awit
Part Two: Kawitan
1. The Gamelan Beleganjur in Traditional Balinese Musical Life
2. Lomba Beleganjur: The Modern Competitive Context
3. Kreasi Beleganjur: The Contest Musical Style
4. Two Musicians: I Ketut Sukarata, I Ketut Gedé Asnawa
Part Three: Pengawak
5. The High Stakes of Competition
6. Agendas of Gender
Part Four: Pengecet
Introduction to the Pengecet
7. Learning to Play: Balinese Experiences
8. Learning to Play: An Ethnomusicologist’s Experiences
9. Playing to Learn: Toward New Understandings
Selected Beleganjur Discography (Annotated)

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