Several scholars in the Institute are engaged in research on Central Javanese Gamelan. Gerd Grupe’s work deals with the musical design principles of the classical music known as Karawitan in Central Java, which emerged from the court music traditions of the local cultural centers of Surakarta (Solo) and Yogyakarta. Grupe’s project entitled Virtual Gamelan Graz was carried out in conjunction with colleagues from KUG Institute 17 - Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM). Funded by the Zukunftsfonds des Landes Steiermark from 2005-2007, the project examined musical and tonal structures of Javanese Gamelan pieces and attempted to create predictive models.  In addition to several resulting articles by Gerd Grupe, an international symposium was also held as part of the project, with Benjamin Brinner, Sophie Clark, Julian Rohrhuber, R. Anderson Sutton, Marc Perlman, Bernard Bel, Gerd Grupe and Rainer Schütz taking part. The proceedings were published in, Virtual Gamelan Graz: Rules, Grammar, Modelling (Graz Contributions to Ethnomusicology 22. Shaker Verlag, 2008). Gerd Grupe's further research on Javanese gamelan is primarily devoted to the garapconcept of designing certain musical parts in the ensemble and their relationship to the noted versions of the traditional compositions.

Sarah Weiss has published on the aesthetics of Javanese performance and has written a monograph entitled, Listening to an Earlier Java: Aesthetics, Gender, and the Music of Central Javanese Wayang (KITLV, 2006) in which she explores the shifting relationships between gender and aesthetics in traditional Central Javanese wayang kulit in postcolonial Java. She has also published an essay about changes in the ritualization of wayang kulit entitled, Transcending Boundaries: Javanese Wayang Kulit Without the Shadows published in Resounding Transcendence: Transition in Music, Ritual, and Religion, edited by Philip Bohlman and Jeffers Englhardt. (Oxford University Press, 2016). Following up on a major analytical project (2011) exploring the process and structure of grimingan, a form of solo musical accompaniment played on the gender during Central Javanese wayang performance, Weiss is developing a corpus of Javanese pathet for a comparative project on process-based, modal musics with Institute colleague Babak Nikzat.

In support of research on (and pleasure in) Central Javanese music, the Institute owns a complete (and extremely beautiful) gamelan.  Students (and others) are invited to learn to play Central Javanese gamelan in the KUG course Meet4Music, or in several courses taught by Gerd Grupe, or they can play in the ensemble, Gamelan Nyai Rara Saraswati, a university ensemble that welcomes community members.  Please contact Gerd Grupe <gerd.grupe (at)> or Sarah Weiss <sarah.weiss (at)> for more information.