Balinese Gamelan

 

The gamelan beleganjur is a music ensemble from Bali, played by 20 to 30 musicians. The beleganjur contains large gongs and tuned bossed gongs of different sizes, as well as drums and cymbals. The ensemble is a procession gamelan, the music is usually loud, and based on rhythmical yet melodic patterns. Some instruments, as for example the pair of leading drums kendang lanang and kendang wadon, or the cymbals ceng-ceng, played in pairs of two or three, play complex patterns that interweave with the other patterns to form a complex and rhythmically multifacetted whole. Some other instruments, as for example the large gongs, are much easier to play, they provide the sonic basis for the faster moving small instruments. Yet, although there is a hierarchy in complexity of the instruments' patterns, all instruments are equally important for the harmony of the ensemble and its music.

The classical gamelan beleganjur is traditionally played at processions during temple festivals or cremation ceremonies. In the last decades, another form of gamelan beleganjur has been developed on Bali, the so called kreasi baru, or new creations. In kreasi baru, Balinese composers create short, elaborate pieces for a beleganjur group, which are usually performed in secular contexts.

The gamelan beleganjur ensemble at the KUG dedicates its time to both classical repertoire as well as new creations and cross-over compositions.


Contact: Kendra Stepputat    kendra-iris.stepputat(at)kug.ac.at