Author: Tenzer, Michael
Publication details: Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 492 pages.
The Balinese gamelan, with its shimmering tones, breathless pace, and compelling musical language, has long captivated musicians, composers, artists, and travelers. Here, Michael Tenzer offers a comprehensive and durable study of this sophisticated musical tradition, focusing on the preeminent twentieth-century genre, gamelan gong kebyar.
Combining the tools of the anthropologist, composer, music theorist, and performer, Tenzer moves fluidly between ethnography and technical discussions of musical composition and structure. In an approach as intricate as one might expect in studies of Western classical music, Tenzer’s rigorous application of music theory and analysis to a non-Western orchestral genre is wholly original. Illustrated throughout, the book also includes nearly 100 pages of musical transcription (in Western notation) that correlate with 55 separate tracks compiled on two accompanying compact discs.
The most ambitious work on gamelan since Colin McPhee’s classic Music in Bali, this book will interest musicians of all kinds and anyone interested in the art and culture of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and Bali.