Improvisation and Composition in Balinese Gendér Wayang: Music of the Moving Shadows, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Improvisation and Composition in Balinese Gendér Wayang

Music of the Moving Shadows, 1st Edition

By Nicholas Gray


294 pages

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Hardback: 9781409418320
pub: 2011-10-28
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315252520
pub: 2016-12-05
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This book is an examination of the music of the Balinese gendér wayang, the quartet of metallophones - gendér - that accompanies the Balinese shadow puppet play - wayang kulit. The book focuses on processes of musical variation, the main means of creating new music in this genre, and the implications of these processes for the social and historical study of Balinese music, musical aesthetics, concepts of creativity and compositional methods. Dr Nick Gray tackles a number of core ethnomusicological concerns in a new way, including the relationship between composition and improvisation, and also highlights issues specific to Balinese music, including the importance of flexibility in performance, an aspect that has been largely ignored by scholars. Gray thus breaks new ground both in the study of issues relating to improvisation and composition and in Balinese music studies.


’The writing is clear, and the notations excellent… recommended.’ Choice

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I Concepts: Introduction; The music of gendér wayang. Part II Explorations: Compositional structures and techniques; What players say; What players play (part 1); What players play (part 2). Part III Reflections: No tree is untouched by the wind; Conclusions and new directions; Appendices; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.

About the Author

Dr Nick Gray specialises in the music of South East Asia, particularly popular and fusion music.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology