One main area of research at the Institute of Ethnomusicology is Central Javanese gamelan music focusing on musical features and concepts of the classical music from Central Java called karawitan which is based on court music traditions of the cultural centers Surakarta (Solo) and Yogyakarta.

gamelan scoreTogether with the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (Institute 17 - IEM) a research project has been carried out called "Virtual Gamelan Graz" which was funded by a regional research foundation (Zukunftsfonds des Landes Steiermark) in 2005-2007. The aim has been to develop a virtual gamelan ensemble that would sound like a real gamelan both regarding the sound of the instruments as well as the idiomatically proper individual musical parts.


The final report can be found here: VGG-Bericht.pdf



gamelan symposium

As part of the project an international symposium has been held with contributions by (from left to right) Benjamin Brinner, Sophie Clark, Julian Rohrhuber, R. Anderson Sutton, Marc Perlman, Bernard Bel, Gerd Grupe und Rainer Schütz. The results have been published in 2008 as Vol. 22 of the series Graz Studies in Ethnomusicology.

Further research by Gerd Grupe concerns the concept called "garap" refering to the way musical parts are formed in the ensemble and their relationship to the notated versions of traditional compositions.






Music and dance from Bali form Kendra Stepputat's main research area. Her PhD thesis focused on the kecak, a Balinese dramatic dance performance that since its beginning has almost exclusively been performed for tourists. The work is not limited to the analysis of the kecak as a musical genre and a dance form. In addition, questions concerning the historical development of the genre as well as the manifestation today are considered, focusing on the interaction between Balinese performers and an international audience in terms of economic as well as aesthetic circumstances.









Tendencies and the current development of Balinese perfomring arts in postmodern times are the focus of the publication "Performing Arts in Postmodern Bali - Changing Interpretations, Founding Traditions". The collection of articles by renowned authors and Bali specialists has been edited by Kendra Stepputat and published 2013 as Vol. in the "Graz Studies in Ethnomusicology" series