About the writer
Glossary of terms

The Story
Finding Cultural Identity
in Gamelan

The Video
Barong Dragon Dance

The Sounds
Audio Organology

The Photos
Golden Beats:
Burat Wangi Rehearsal



Presented by Elisa Hough
Specialized Journalism (the Arts)
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
© 2012

Glossary of terms

aerophone: an instrument that creates sound primarily through vibrating a body of air, such as a flute or trumpet (one of the four categories in the Hornbostel-Sachs musical instrument classification system)

affinity groups: communities bound together not by ethnicity but by attraction to particular cultural practices, such as music (Source: Koskoff)

banjar: cooperative groups of family and/or neighbors in a community

bronze: strong metal alloy combining copper and usually tin which ancient Indonesians believed to have supernatural qualities (Source: Spiller)

colotomy: term used specifically to describe the rhythmic structure of gamelan, with gongs of varied sizes marking set intervals of time

desa kala patra: literally, “time, place, feeling”; Balinese saying for adapting to current surroundings

diatonic: musical scale consisting of five whole steps and two half steps, the standard Western C-D-E-F-G-A-B notes

ethnomusicology: the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts, not limited to so-called “ethnic” music of foreign countries (Source: Pegg)

gangsa: collective term for the ugal, pemade and kantilan

gamelan: literally, “to strike or hammer”; the genre of music, the collection of instruments, and the group of performers

idiophone: an instrument that creates sound primarily through its own vibration, such as most percussion besides drums (one of the four categories in the Hornbostel-Sachs musical instrument classification system)

kebyar: literally, “flowering” or “lightning”; style of gamelan music unique to Bali and developed in the early 20th century, characterized by frantically quick melodies

membranophone: an instrument that creates sound primarily through vibrating a stretched membrane, such as most drums (one of the four categories in the Hornbostel-Sachs musical instrument classification system)

metallophone: a musical instrument consisting of metal bars that are struck to produce sound, commonly seen in gamelan ensembles, such as the Balinese gangsa; Western examples include vibraphone and glockenspiel (subsection of idiophone)

multiethnic: identifying as two or more races, a category first seen on the U.S. Census in 2000

ostinato: phrase of music, either rhythmic or melodic, that is repeated throughout a piece

Pak: Indonesian title of respect for males, equivalent to Mister or Father

pokok: literally, “tree trunk,” referring to the base instruments jegog and calung

polyrhythmic: using two or more conflicting rhythmic patterns simultaneously

tuning system: defines what notes to use when playing music, designated either by the musical notations or the bounds of the instrument