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 a musical style featured in contests that are attended by thousands. Ethnomusicologist Michael Bakan draws the reader 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 the reader inside this musical world and into the lives of musicians connecting across vast cultural divides. The book contains musical examples, photographs and an accompanying compact disc, "Music of Death and New Creation" represents an exploration of how music embodies and shapes life in contemporary Indonesia and beyond.
List of Plates, Figures, and Musical Examples Musical Excerpts on the Compact Disc Acknowledgments Note Part One: Awit-Awit Introduction 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 Gede 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 Notes Glossary Selected Beleganjur Discography (Annotated) Bibliography Index