Chapter

Opportunity and Interaction

Sumarsam

in Performing Ethnomusicology

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238749
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937178 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238749.003.0004
Opportunity and Interaction

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This chapter highlights various facts about gamelan that prevails in the modern era. Interest in studying gamelan performance remains strong in American colleges and universities where discussion of various gamelan topics and announcements of gamelan events appear almost daily. There is a long historical precedent for Western fascination with gamelan and its music. Throughout much of Indonesian history, Java was the center not only of power, but also of local and international commerce. Some scholars and political leaders thought of elevating Javanese gamelan into a “national” music. In spite of the plurality of the modern Indonesian nation-state, the long Javanese dominance in state political life made it possible for Javanese culture to receive more prominence than other regional cultures. All in all, colonial and contemporary political forces have directly or indirectly encouraged the spread of gamelan around the globe and it is commonly thought that the structure of the music makes gamelan suitable for musical education.

Keywords: Indonesian history; Javanese dominance; musical education; Javanese gamelan; Java; Javanese culture

Chapter.  11362 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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