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Gamelan Bali Unik Di Kancah Musik Dunia

Denpasar, Bali- Instrumen musik tradisional Bali (gamelan) mempunyai unsur

keistimewaan yang tidak ada pada jenis musik lain di berbagai negara di belahan
dunia, sehingga mampu menarik perhatian orang luar negeri untuk mempelajarinya.
"Keistimewaan itu menyangkut sistem `ngembang isep` (pelarasan) dan `kotekan`
(variasi), kata Ketua Sanggar Manika Santi Denpasar I Wayan Sinti MA yang
berpengalaman mengajar gamelan Bali di sejumlah perguruan tinggi seni di Amerika
Serikat di Denpasar Kamis.
Ia mengatakan, berkat unsur keistimewaan pada gamelan Bali menjadikan tabuh dan
tari Bali mengalami perkembangan yang pesat di sejumlah negara di belahan dunia.
Hal itu secara tidak langsung memberikan dampak positif terhadap pencitraan
Indonesia, khususnya Bali di dunia internasional.
"Sanggar seni yang mengajarkan tabuh dan tari Bali berkembang di Jepang, Amerika
Serikat, Kanada dan sejumlah negara lainnya," ujar Wayan Sinti yang mendapat
kepercayaan sebagai dosen gamelan Bali di University Taronto Kanada.
Demikian pula sebagian besar dari 58 mahasiswa mancanegara yang sedang belajar
tabuh dan tari Bali di Fakultas Seni Pertunjukan Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Denpasar,
senantiasa lebih memantapkan kemampuannya kepada seniman lokal.
"Puluhan mahasiswa asing itu minimal dua kali seminggu belajar tabuh dan tari Bali
di luar kampus," ujar I Wayan Sinti.
Dengan dua perangkat gamelan Manika Santi dan Siwanada dapat mengajarkan
kepada mahasiswa asing untuk memainkam berbagai jenis instrumen gamelan Bali.
Kedua perangkat gamelan hasil ciptaannya sendiri itu masing-masing menggunakan
sebelas jenis instrumen yang mampu berfungsi ganda untuk melakoni sedikitnya 30
jenis gamelan yang ada di Bali.
Dengan kedua jenis gamelan yang dirancang sedemikian rupa memudahkan
mahasiswa asing untuk mempelajari aneka jenis gamelan Bali, ujar Wayan Sinti,
alumnus pascasarjana San Diego State University California, Amerika Serikat.(*)


The music of Bali is extremely complex and vibrant. The original purpose of music
here again is to serve religious beliefs, accompanying dances or wayang theaters. The
traditional Balinese orchestra, known as gamelan, is composed of various forms of
percussions, with notes overlapping and criss crossing among the various kinds. There
is a number of string and woodwind instruments, but most of the players, which can
range from a few to several dozen, sit behind various kinds of metallophones, gongs,
and xylophones. Each gamelan has its own tuning, preventing instruments from being
interchanged from one gamelan to another.

The music of Bali has inspired well known composers from all around the world. Bela
Bartok titled his No.109 piece "From the island of Bali." It is also said that Debussy,
after having met a Balinese musician and seen a Balinese orchestra performed in
Europe, is very impressed and affected, and that much of his later works contain
distinct colors of Balinese music.

But Colin McPhee (1900-1964), a Montreal-born author and musician, was probably the
one most affected as well as most influential in Balinese music. Story has it that his life-
changing moment happened in New York, when he first encounter a vinyl of Balinese
gamelan. He set sail, so to speak, to Bali, and immersed himself in learning about and
contributing to Balinese music. His compendium of Balinese music is an extremely
well-researched collection of the various aspects of Balinese music. His Tabuh-tabuhan:
toccata for orchestra won him the coveted Pulitzer Prize.

Tabuh-tabuhan is a collective noun that literally translates into a collection of

percussion instrument - the Balinese gamelan. It consists of three movements:
Ostinatos, Nocturne, and Finale. McPhee's nuclear gamelan consists of two pianos,
celesta, xylophone, marimba, and glockenspiel, with special Balinese gongs and
cymbals added for certain sounds. Premiered in Mexico in 1936, this piece fuses
Balinese motifs, melodies, and rhythms into a symphonic work. The signature of a
Balinese flute melody inspires the Nocturne, unmistakably similar to what you can
hear as you walk by the village temple today. The syncopated finale is kindred to the
tapestry formed by the village orchestra accompanying a popular dance.
Music tradisional Bali
Musik tradisional Bali memiliki kesamaan dengan musik tradisional di banyak
daerah lainnya di Indonesia, misalnya dalam penggunaan gamelan dan berbagai
alat musik tabuh lainnya. Meskipun demikian, terdapat kekhasan dalam tehnik
memainkan dan gubahannya, misalnya dalam bentuk kecak, yaitu sebentuk
nyanyian yang konon menirukan suara kera. Demikian pula beragam gamelan yang
dimainkan pun memiliki keunikan, misalnya Gamelan Jegog, Gamelan Gong Gede,
Gamelan Gambang, Gamelan Selunding, dan Gamelan Semar Pegulingan. Adapula
musik Angklung dimainkan untuk upacara ngaben, serta musik Bebonangan
dimainkan dalam berbagai upacara lainnya.

Terdapat bentuk moderen dari musik tradisional Bali, misalnya Gamelan Gong
Kebyar yang merupakan musik tarian yang dikembangkan pada masa penjajahan
Belanda, serta Joged Bumbung yang mulai populer di Bali sejak era tahun 1950-an.
Umumnya musik Bali merupakan kombinasi dari berbagai alat musik perkusi metal
(metalofon), gong, dan perkusi kayu (xilofon). Karena hubungan sosial, politik dan
budaya, musik tradisional Bali atau permainan gamelan gaya Bali memberikan
pengaruh atau saling mempengaruhi daerah budaya di sekitarnya, misalnya pada
musik tradisional masyarakat Banyuwangi serta musik tradisional masyarakat

Gamelan in Balinese Life

Thursday, January 25th, 2007 by ablteam

Gamelan in Balinese life has many essential functions; the gamelan’s primary function
is to assist in the myriad of ceremonies required during each 210-day cycle of the Balinese
Pawukon cycle, as well as those involved with the lunar calendar. These activities range from
private family observances such as weddings or the dedication to new buildings to massive,
village-wide temple ceremonies. The musicians must be able to play at any hour or night or
both, as demanded by the ceremony in progress. They may accompany a priest in his devotion,
or they may accompany entertainments, such as temple dances. Tourism creates the secondary
function of any gamelan that is entertaining Bali’s visitors. There is no such thing as
professional musician in Bali. The gamelan players are rice farmers or village artisans or work
at some sort of job – they are musician during their time off.
Gamelan (Traditional Balinese Orchestra)
Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 by ablteam
The word Gamelan is a Balinese term for “orchestra”; there are many types of Gamelan
in Bali. Gamelan is a generic term, and there is dozen or more completely different kind of
ensembles. Gamelan is a percussion-dominated musical ensemble.
The instruments that are used in a Gamelan ensemble usually consist of Gangsas
Metallophones that look like xylophones, called gangsas, consist of a carved often gilded, frame
containing bamboo resonator over which a series of bronze keys are suspended by hide lacing.
The bronze keys are hit with little wooden hammers which causes bamboo resonators below the
keys to vibrate. They may have four to fourteen keys and are grouped in matching pairs
according to size and number of key. After the keys have been hit by the hammer in the right
hand, the left hand immediately grasps
the key to stop the sound merging in the
next note.

A Glimpse on Traditional Balinese Cuisine

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 by ablteam
The traditional Balinese cuisine is a rare art that cannot be learn perfectly at cooking
course, it has to be learn in the preparation of a ceremony since the traditional Balinese cuisine
is dedicated mainly for the ceremonial purpose and the authenticity of the flavor cannot be
achieved in the cooking course.
The basic obstacle in learning traditional Balinese cuisine is the spices. There are many
kind of spices used in the traditional Balinese cuisine and there is no exact measurement on the
quantity of spices used in a cooking process, all depends on the chef preference. Moreover,
there is no standard for the traditional Balinese cuisine every village has its own way of cooking
and the use of spices.

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