Javanese Gamelan.

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Music: Playon Gambuh

Playon Gambuh [excerpt] (MP3 format, 758 KB). Played by Kyai Telågå Rukmi, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Javanese gamelan ensemble, on 21 April 2001.

This short excerpt in the pélog scale is from a duel scene from a dance duet called "Beksan Wayang Golek Kelaswara-Adaninggar". In this piece, I am playing the bonang barung. The excerpt starts with a short section played in the imbal or interlocking style for bonang. About halfway through the drum signals a louder section played in a different style; this marks some of the duel fighting. Below are the notes for this piece from the 21 April 2001 concert program.

Wayang golèk is the Javanese term for three-dimensional wooden puppets, used in central Java to present plays based on Islamic stories of Arabic origin. The dance style used in this item is based on movements of the wayang golèk and it was inspired by the ninth sultan of Yogyakarta (Hamengku Buwana IX, d. 1988). The Chinese princess Adaninggar has a vivid dream in which she met Prince Jayèngrana and could see every detail of his refined features and his elegant clothing. Just as he approached her, she awoke and he vanished. Still in the grip of this powerful dream, she vowed to travel the world to find him and has just come to Java, where she hears that Jayèngrana is already in love with a Javanese princess named Kélaswara--a woman of uncommon beauty and magical power. By chance, the two princesses meet and, suspicious of each other, have a tussle. As Adaninggar learns that the women she has met is none other than Jayèngrana's beloved, Adanniggar realizes that all she has heard about Kélaswara is true. Adaninggar has met her match. A duel ensues, in which Adaninggar is fatally wounded.

--R. Anderson Sutton

Other Javanese gamelan music excerpts.


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Author: Bern Jordan.
Created: 28 May 2002
Last updated: 11 November 2002
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