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Tantra in Music

From: "Dharmadeva" 
To: alt.magick.tantra
Subject: Tantra in Music
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 09:36:06 GMT

Grove Dictionary of Music

Inner Asia

3. Religious contexts.
Three predominant religious complexes intermingle in Inner Asia: folk
religion, Shamanism and Buddhism. Islam, practised by Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in
west Mongolia and in Xinjiang, looks to the religious and musical traditions
of Central rather than Inner Asia. The three Inner Asian religious complexes
include mosaics of performing practices and discourses rather than discrete
or fixed sets of practices or beliefs. They are syncretic and overlapping.
The power of sound to communicate with spirits is recognized by all three
systems, and circular movements in the 'path of the sun' are used by all in
a range of performing practices. For instance, in folk-religious rituals the
Mongolian masked dancer twirls a yak's tail during marmot hunting, the
Buryat Mongol performs the yoohor dance in a circle, Mongolian child riders
encircle a tethering line while performing the ritual song giingoo, champion
Mongolian and Tuvan wrestlers encircle a standard as they perform the Khan
Guruda dance, and umpires in archery competitions accompany their song with
circular gestures as they invite the arrows to meet their mark. The circular
gesture occurs in shamanic seances when spirits are called, and the shaman
or shamaness spins while beating the drum. In Buddhist rituals, such as the
masked dance-drama 'cham, dancer-lamas move clockwise along a path marked by
two concentric circles.

(i) Folk-religious practices.
Musical performances arising from folk-religious beliefs are essential to
individual, family and clan life. These are performed by laypeople or by
male ritual specialists, such as the Mongolian bagshi, who makes sacrifices
and offerings, consecrates horses to spirits, pronounces banishing spells
and makes divinations, and tuul'ch (epic bards), who use their performances
to accomplish exorcism and weather-magic and to invite prosperity, fertility
and health.

Vocal repertories of folk-religious practitioners include praise-songs and
epics as well as a range of rhythmical utterances such as wish-prayers,
well-wishing words and anointments, invocations and curses. The continuum of
sounds used in imitation of natural phenomena and animate beings in order to
negotiate with spirits ranges from snorting and blowing to chanting and
singing (see also Tuvan music, Overtone-singing). Performance occurs within
soundscapes in which the noises of nature -- made by wind, water, animals
and birds -- have the power to communicate with, and effect, the lives and
bodies of humans, and in which humans, by imitating those sounds, can in
turn influence and affect all aspects of nature, including the spirits.

As among those of Central Asian countries, such as the baxshi or zhirau of
Uzbekistan, the bards of Inner Asia use a deep, guttural vocal tone during
epic performance to contact the spirit world and to heal or to control
nature. Inner Asian bards create a ritual space, an imagined world linked to
the real world by a system of 13s but apart from it, in which the epic drama
may unfold and the power of performance be activated (see Mongol music,
§III, 1). Epic heroes, like other armed heroes on horseback, are the focus
of religious cults. Star-gods are contacted by performances of incantations,
wish-prayers, long-songs and epics, and dances are performed to the goddess
of fire.

(ii) Shamanism.
Shamanisms include a range of ritual specialists, whose discourses and
practices vary according to historical, regional and political contexts. In
ancient times, the male shaman helped men in hunting and war, while the
female shaman made sacrifices to the fire of her clan. Prior to the 13th
century, male and female shamans were believed to have equal powers as
Protector and Guardian Spirits. During the period of the Mongol Empire
(1206--1368), shamans were powerful political as well as spiritual advisors.
Books, manuals and manuscripts on rites, ancestor worship, temple
ceremonies, chiromancy, scapulimancy, dreams, prayers, hymns and the
hagiography of 'Great Shamans and Shamanesses' were destroyed by Buddhists
from the 16th century to the 19th and many of their practices and beliefs
assimilated. In Mongolia, 'white' shamans accepting the new 'yellow'
religion of Buddhism were transformed into 'yellow' shamans who were able to
practice in monasteries, for instance in Dayan Derhe Sharavliin Huree,
situated on the border of Mongolia and Buryatia. Despite continued attempts
to eradicate or assimilate Shamanism during the dissemination of both
Buddhism and communism, shamanizing secretly continued and is once again
flourishing. In contemporary practice, female shamans continue to be viewed
as powerful. The practitioner's performance is oral and is dramatized and
improvised according to whether the ceremony is for healing, advice on
hunting or divination. In contrast to Eliade's archetypal male shaman who
engaged in 'magical flight', male or female practitioners may choose to
enter dissociated or semi-dissociated states. They employ a range of vocal
and instrumental sounds while shamanizing and use their own distinctive
melodies for invoking spirits and for rendering the spirit's advice.
Percussive non-vocal and non-instrumental sounds are produced by small bells
and miniature metal weapons or pins attached to the shaman's drum, staff,
switch, rattle, drumstick and costume (fig.2). The shaman may leap, spin,
imitate riding and walking, or appear to dance or embody particular birds or

The single-headed frame drum is the most frequently used shaman instrument
among Inner Asian and Siberian peoples, symbolizing the saddle animal on
which the shaman travels to the upper or lower worlds to negotiate with
spirits or the mount that carries the invoked spirit to the shaman. The
animal is identified with that of the skin from which the drumhead is made.
Iron pins are attached to the back of the drum by means of a cross stick or
wire (see Hets). Tuvans, Buryats and Darhats use a horse-headed staff or a
staff with two or three fork-like branches, thought to fulfil the same
function. This is beaten by a hide drumstick or thrust back and forth during
invocations. For Tuvans, the staff is the first requisite of shamanship. As
the practitioner's powers increase, an orba (drumstick) and dungur (frame
drum) is requested during 'trance'. Senior Darhat shamans beat a drum.
Buryats use the staff or drum to call 'black' spirits (haryn duudlaga).

Similarly, the jew's harp is used at different stages of the shaman's career
or in different contexts according to ethnicity (Pegg, 2001).

(iii) Tantric Buddhist practices.
Mahayana or 'Great Vehicle' Buddhism, which included Tantrism (Vajrayana),
travelled from India to Tibet and was later disseminated throughout Inner
Asia. In Tibet four great religious traditions emerged: first Nyingmapa
(Tibetan rnying-ma-pa), then Kargyudpa (Tibetan bka'-brgyud-pa) and Saskyapa
(Tibetan sa-skya-pa) and finally, the reformist Gelugpa (Tibetan
dge-lugs-pa). During the 13th century, powerful Tibetan monasteries competed
for the favours of Mongol leaders. The Saskyapa school emerged as successful
when 'Phags pa initiated Khubilai Khan in the practices of Hevajra (Tibetan
kye rdo-rje) Tantra in exchange for sovereignty over Tibet. During the 16th
century, the Gelugpa order gained predominance in the area, but the struggle
between this (colloquially termed 'Yellow Hat') and the others (collectively
termed 'Red Hats') continued to relate to the broader political situation.
In contemporary Mongolia, the 'Red Hats' are viewed as being less formal and
closer to the people.

Performance styles and repertories vary between the four religious
traditions. For instance, with reference to the melodies played on shawms
(Tibetan rgya-gling, Mongol bishguur), the Saskyapa tradition is known for
its majestic style; Gelugpa for its sparse use of melodies; Kargyudpa for
melodies with an extremely slow ascent to the highest pitch; and Nyingmapa
for 'folksong-like' tunes. Similarly, there are clear differences in dance
movements: Nyingmapa music and dance are very elaborate, with much movement;
Gelugpa are 'classical', with minimal movements in line with their ideal
'not to make a show'. There were also variations within these performance
traditions, between subdivisions of these religious schools as well as
between monasteries within the same tradition. In addition, performance
traditions and repertories of monasteries in different states drew on
Tibetan traditions but adapted them to local needs.

Scriptural recitation, together with liturgical performance, constitutes the
cyclical basis of monastic life. Traditionally, each monastery had its own
manuscripts containing song texts for chants and songs, and notations
(Tibetan dbangs-yig, Mongol yan-yig) (see Mongol music, §III, 3(i)). Chants
performed by lamas during religious rituals were in Tibetan (with a small
element of Sanskrit) and were interpersed with sounds of gongs, cymbals or
wind instruments. In recent decades, ethnomusicologists and organologists
have worked increasingly on the performance of Tibetan ritual (see Tibetan
music), though there are few sources in European languages on the forms that
notation took in Mongolia or on any Mongolian Buddhist performance
traditions. H. Haslund-Christensen's recordings made in 1936--7 at Wang-Yin
monastery in Inner Mongolia have not been published. P.J. van Oost produced
a short article, and C.A. Pegg has published a precis of ongoing
contemporary research.

The basic instrumentaria in Buddhist monasteries across Inner Asia is the
same: a small hand-bell (Tibetan dril-bu, Mongol honh) held in the left hand
together with the ritual sceptre (Mongol dorje) in the right; thigh-bone
trumpets, usually played in pairs for invocation of fierce deities and to
signal entry of masked dancers in the 'chams; long, metal bass trumpets and
white, end-blown conch-shell trumpets; wooden shawms; and a range of cymbals
and double- and single-headed frame drums. In monasteries in Mongolia and
Inner Mongolia, additional instruments were traditionally to be found: the
half-tube zither Yatga in Mongolian areas, the gong-chime (Chin. yun-lo,
Mongol duuduram) and free-reed mouth organ (Chin. sheng) in Chinese areas.

The Buddhist 'chams (Mongol tsam) is a masked Tantric dance-drama performed
on public occasions. In Tibet, 'chams is thought to have developed out of a
fusion of Indian Buddhist ritual dance (Tibetan gar), Indian Buddhist
theatre and pre-Buddhist Tibetan masked ceremonial dances performed by Bonpo
monks and lay men and women (see Tibetan music, §II, 2(ii)). A dance book
('chams-yig) of iconographical, choreographical, musical and ritual
information, written mostly by the fifth Dalai Lama, Ngag Dbang Blo Bzang
Rgya Mtsho, when he ruled Tibet (1617--82) but completed by later spiritual
heads of Gelugpa, is based primarily on Nyingmapa and Saskyapa traditions.
As Buddhism spread, the structure of the dance-drama remained, though
characters were given local interpretations and new ones added. In all
'chams, movements of dancer-lamas metaphysically create the spheres of
heaven, wind, water and fire: the iconographic details of the Mandala.
Dancer-lamas invoke and embody Tantric deities for those spheres together
with their retinues; malevolent spirits, also created and invited, are
forced to enter a human effigy (Tibetan linga) previously made of dough, wax
or paper and then magically destroyed; and parts of the 'corpse', i.e. the
dead bodies of the spirits, are offered to the deities of the Mandala.

In areas where the Gelugpa order predominated, non-Buddhist forms such as
epics were considered as ideological weapons of rival religious complexes.
In areas where 'Red Hat' orders prevailed, lamas protected and patronized
epics by inviting bards to the monasteries to perform; indeed, sometimes
lamas themselves performed. In west Mongolia this gave rise to legends that
some lamas were reincarnations of epic heroes. Dani-Hurel, hero of a lengthy
Bait and Dorvet epic cycle, was said to have been reborn in the Bait
Dejeelin monastery, where he held the grade of bagsh-gegeen. Similarly, epic
heroes became identified as Buddhist gods. Other non-Buddhist musical
genres, such as long-songs and full-scale musical dramas, were performed in
the monasteries of 'Red Hat' orders (see Mongol music, §III, 3(iv)).


India, §VII, 1(ii): Local traditions of of northern India: Professional
(c) Mendicants.
Both Hinduism and Islam emphasize the importance of charity and its bearing
on salvation. Known to some outside India is a type of musical mendicant
called Baul, of West Bengal and Bangladesh (see Bengali music). A group of
Bauls associated with the singer Purna Das Baul has performed in the West
since the 1960s. Most Bauls now play more often for religious fairs, but the
role was traditionally that of itinerant mendicant. They accompany their
melismatic songs (some of which convey Krishna cult doctrine and some
tantric and other religio-philosophical systems) with a plucked lute
(dotara, 'two strings') that has four or five strings, a variable tension
chordophone called khamak and other instruments. The khamak is an inverted
single-head drum with a string that passes up through the hollow chamber and
is tied to a knob. The player holds the inverted drum under his left arm and
the knob in his left hand. He plucks the string with a plectrum or finger of
his right hand while changing the pitch by increasing or decreasing the
tension of the string with the knob in his left hand. Other similar
instruments used by Bauls are the gopiyantra and the anandalahari (see
Variable tension chordophone).

The kind of sound produced by these instruments, a tone of changing pitch in
a lower range (its ascending form suggested by 'bu-ump ' spoken with rising
inflection), is very characteristic of Indian music. It is heard in the
bhapang of eastern Rajasthan, in the sound of the left-hand head of the
dholak and mrdangam, and in a family of hourglass drums with variable
tension heads, including the huruk (north India), the udukku (south India),
whose similar names evidence their common origin, and the damaru, found
throughout India.

Similar to the Bauls are the so-called jogis of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
They accompany themselves with the Sarangi, the bowed lute used in
Hindustani classical music. Often only two strings are present, and one of
these will provide the drone. The dotara mentioned above has one or more
drone strings. The bowed lutes usually have one or more, and many mendicants
all over India play a single string plucked lute (ektara, tuntune). The
jogis sing (for donations of grain, old cloth or cash) a variety of
religious and philosophical songs, including some called nirgun bhajans,
whose content is similar to some of the Bauls' songs. These songs promote
the ideas of non-attachment to the mundane world and devotion that need not
be externally visible, to a formless (nirgun) deity (a deity without
attributes). They lambast official priests and religion. Sung throughout
India, songs of this heterodox type combine ideas from Buddhist mysticism,
Advaita Vedanta, Tantrism, Yoga, the Nath cults and Sufism.

Nirgun bhajans are also sung by the blind mendicants called Surdas, after
the blind 16th-century Vaishnava poet-saint. In 1990 mendicants of this type
(who come from no particular caste) were still to be seen plying their trade
in eastern Uttar Pradesh (fig.12). The young man whose song is notated in
ex.29, Rajendra Gaur, was recorded on the train that travels daily from
Varanasi to Mau in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His song preaches that death is
inevitable and the body lives only 'four days', i.e. the four ashram or
stages of a devout man's life in times past (student, householder, forest
hermit, renunciant). Salvation requires wisdom and non-attachment, and one
should think about donations to the poor. Kabir was a medieval poet-saint of
this region, and many of the nirgun bhajans are self-attributed to him.

So, brother, the wise man hits with knowledge, the hunter hits with an
>From not subduing the senses, the body dies
But arrogant egoism never dies, as was said by Kabir.
People, why is there the treacherous bandit?
This body is but a visitor of four days.
Don't be proud; one day you will go for sure.
For your going a bamboo conveyance is made.
This body is but a visitor of four days.
You will make thousands, millions of rupees; you won't take even a cowrie
with you.
No matter how much you earn, it will all stay here.
Now there is made a red shroud for you to wear.
This body is but a visitor of four days.
Keep the thought in your mind, keep the thought in your mind.
Think about donations to the poor.
Then this is wisdom for you to think about.
This body is but a visitor of four days.
Four bearers will lift the palanquin and carry you to the burning ghat.
This body is but a visitor of four days.
So Kabir has sung and gone to heaven.
On this earth your mark has gone, a symbol of your good work.
This body is but a visitor of four days.
People, why is there this treacherous thief?
This body of yours is made of dirt.

The tunes of nirgun bhajans are of no single type. Any tune, including those
of film songs, may be put to a bhajan text. The unknown composer of this
song set the text to a qavvali tune. Orthodox qavvali is sung in
leader-chorus format at Sufi Muslim assemblies, especially at the
anniversaries of Sufi saints. This religious form evolved into popular
qavvali (see §VI, 2(ii) above). In the popular form non-Muslim texts are
sung to the same musical style: solos in free rhythm alternate with heavily
rhythmic and repetitious refrains sung by a chorus with the same intensity
of feeling as the men's devotional singing. In this nirgun bhajan the choral
portion is absent and the entire song is in free rhythm.


India, §IX: Dance
3. 20th-century trends.
(i) Modern dance.
In the 1920s uday Shankar, much influenced by his meeting with Anna Pavlova,
was the first to break away from traditional styles. He created
impressionistic dances and freed movement from the constraints of mime by
using the whole body instead of concentrating purely on the hands and face
for expression. Although inspired by Indian myth, he was also interested in
developing as a theme the increasing mechanization of human life. His early
creations, such as Labour and Machinery -- Rhythm of Life, laid the
foundations of a new idiom that introduced elements of realism. Shankar
founded a school of dance in Almora, Uttar Pradesh; although traditional
teachers worked there, a new style of dance emerged as a result of Shankar's
influence. Elements from classical dance were freely incorporated into the
new technique, although the sculpturesque pose and the basic motifs of
individual styles were abandoned. The dance movements themselves became the
primary focus, with music only providing an accompaniment and no longer
guiding the actions.

Shanti Bardhan (d 1954) was one of Shankar's associates, responsible for
creating two important ballets: the Rama-lila and the Panca-tantra. He was
also involved in the production of the ballet Discovery of India, based on
Nehru's book of the same name. The Rama-lila uses one single movement for
the whole ballet, in which a puppet show is presented. In the Panca-tantra
the characters are birds, whose movements are depicted through a distinctive
use of the spine and arms.

The movements used in modern dance gave new stimulus to the performers in
the traditional schools. New themes and new literary sources were used in
creating dance-dramas in classical styles. Bharata-natyam was no longer
restricted to the solo dancer: many dance-dramas were composed using both
bharata-natyam and kathakali by Rukmini Devi and Mrinalini Sarabhai. In
odissi, full-length dance-dramas based on the Gita-govinda, using many
characters, have been attempted. In kathak, a number of ballets on
traditional and modern themes have been choreographed by Briju Maharaj, and
in manipuri by Singhajit Singh. Some choreographers have drawn on material
from local forms; a ballet called Bhairavi by Prabhat Gangully uses the
mayurbhanj chau.

(ii) Dance in film.
Dance has been an important aspect of Indian film since the very first
'talkies' in the 1930s and may be seen as a continuation of traditional
Indian theatre (and particularly the Marathi theatre of the end of the 19th
century), where dance, mime, text and music have always been integral to the
presentation of the story. Music and dance in film perform much the same
function as in classical Sanskrit drama, that is, to provide an interlude
during which the action moves forward in time.

The first dances were classical; many traditional teachers of bharata-natyam
had emigrated from their villages to Madras and Bombay to seek work in the
film industry. However, choreographers soon broadened their range of
influences to include elements of contemporary dance and local traditions,
so that group dances, as well as duets and solo items, with complex,
synchronized choreography have been an enduring feature of Indian films.
During the 1970s disco from the West influenced choreographers, as did the
later videos of Western stars, such as Michael Jackson. Techniques such as
'moon walking' and break dancing were now seen on screen alongside more
'classical' styles in duet and group dances. The result has been an
increasingly syncretic dance style peculiar to film, an amalgam of
'classical' styles, local traditions and Western popular dance, generally
known as disco.

(iii) New Asian dance music.
This term is adopted by Sharma, Hutnyk and Sharma (1996, pp.33--41) as a
catch-all term for a variety of popular musics associated with the British
South Asian community. The terms Bhangra and 'post-bhangra' also cover these
musics, which may have little or nothing to do with the Punjabi traditional
dance (see §2(ii) above) from which the name comes (cf. Baumann, 1990). They
arose as a South Asian counterpart, in Southall and Birmingham, to the club
and dance scene of the 1980s and 90s and owe a debt to black dance musics
coming from the USA, such as soul, hip-hop and rap.

The earliest bhangra bands were formed on the immigrant Punjabi wedding
circuit playing traditional music, including that used for the bhangra
dance. This traditional music had less and less appeal to the generations of
South Asians born and raised in Britain, who more often identified with
black musics such as reggae. At the beginning of the 1980s bands such as
Alaap and Heera integrated these sound-system-based musics into the more
traditional forms being played on the wedding circuit. As recordings and
experience of this music spread through young South Asian communities, a
club and dance scene coalesced around these bands, with gigs and raves
taking place both during the day and at night.

As the scene developed it became more diverse and moved beyond the original
designation of 'bhangra'. Artists such as Apache Indian incorporated
elements of ragga into their music, while Bally Sagoo mixed in drum 'n' bass
to produce 'acid bhangra' and turned his attention to Hindi film songs,
producing re-mixed versions of hits on albums such as Bollywood Classics and
Bollywood Flashbacks (both 1994). These artists have achieved great
popularity in India itself, with many of these innovations feeding back into
the South Asian popular music and dance scene. More recently, groups such as
the Asian Dub Foundation and Fun^Da^Mental have mixed South Asian
instrumentation and lyrics with rap, producing music with an explicitly
political message, while Cornershop, a guitar-based band, has produced
rock-oriented music.


Tibetan music
I. Background, history and research
The history and musics of the Tibetan cultural area have always been
intertwined. From the 7th to 12th centuries, Indian influence became strong

as Mahayana Buddhism and Tantrism entered Tibet and co-existed with the
indigenous Bon religion. Tibet was a dominant military power in Inner Asia
in the 8th century, during the period of the early kings (7th--10th
century). In the 13th century the country came under Mongol influence,
although it was never completely conquered. Chingghis Khan campaigned
against the northern Tibetans (Tanguts) in 1206, and in 1226--7 his
grandson, the Mongol Yuan dynasty emperor Khubilai Khan, settled Tibet's
tributary status by recognizing 'Phags-pa, leader of the sa-skya--pa
Buddhist school, as its religious and secular authority. During the Ming
dynasty (1368--1644) different Tibetan factions made alliances with both
Mongol confederations and the Chinese. The re-establishment of close
relations between Tibetans and Mongols during the 16th century is evidenced
by the power of the Mongol prince Altan Khan to create and bestow the title
of third Dalai Lama (applied retrospectively to his two predecessors) upon
the religious leader of the reformist Buddhist dge-lugs-pa school. From 1644
to 1911 overlordship over Tibet continued under the Manchus; when the Qing
dynasty fell in 1911 the 13th Dalai Lama tried to gain recognition for
Tibet's independence.

Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 and the armed uprising in
1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled into exile in Dharamsala, northern India.
Since then, a diaspora of over 150,000 Tibetan refugees has settled in
India, Nepal and Western countries. From 1966, with the onset of the
Cultural Revolution, Tibetan religious practices and cultural customs were
banned, and Marxist-Leninist ideology and structures imposed. Although the
Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, repression continued. At the beginning of
the 1980s, the communists made ideological concessions on religious
practices and the traditional cultures of 'minorities', which were followed
by a time of relative liberalization. Demographic pressure from the Chinese
heightened at the beginning of the 1990s, and religious repression
recommenced in 1996.

Research on Tibetan music has been affected by these political events. Prior
to the 1960s various musics were collected and studied by Westerners, for
instance by A.H. Francke in 1905 (folksongs), Roerich in 1942 (dramas) and
G. Tucci in 1949 (epics). Field research in Tibet became impossible after
the 1960s, and Western scholars have had to rely on other methods. Tibetan
refugees have been used to provide data from which to construct a model of
pre-1950 Tibetan society, and the Tibetan-speaking peoples of the southern
Himalaya have provided primary materials for comparative analysis. Research
topics have included Buddhist music, notation and the masked dance-drama,
social and cultural contexts of performance, ritual characteristics and

During the liberalization period of the 1980s, music studies in Tibet were
undertaken by the Han Chinese and some Tibetans. For ideological reasons,
these have concentrated on the music of folk performers. Since 1990,
interest in the contemporary situation in the TAR has grown. Within China, a
project called Zhongguo minzu minjian yinyue jicheng [Anthology of Folk
Music of the Chinese Peoples] began in the 1980s to document the traditional
music and dance of every province (see China, §IV), including Tibetan genres
in the TAR, Gansu, Qinghai, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. The anthology
focusses on compilation and systemization; historical and social analyses
are based on Chinese political orthodoxy. Since the end of the 1990s, a
limited number of Western researchers have had access to Tibet (e.g. I.
Collinge, M. Schrempf, I. Henrion-Dourcy), scholars who hold radically
different theoretical and methodological perspectives from Chinese and
Tibetan scholars in the People's Republic of China.

Representations of Tibetan music arouse the same passionate debates among
ethnomusicologists as the area's political and legal status, history and
ethnicity provoke on the international stage. This article brings together a
range of differently-orientated specialists. Mirroring the foci of research,
a division has been made between the monastic music and dance of Bon and the
four Buddhist schools -- rnying-ma-pa, bka'-brgyud-pa, sa-skya-pa and
dge-lugs-pa -- and traditional musics and dance, although the latter may
also be deeply infused with religious beliefs and ritual.


Tibetan music, §II: Monastic music
1. Liturgical chant and music.
(i) Bon.
Bon refers to the pre-Buddhist system of beliefs and practices prevalent in
Tibet until about the 8th century and to the textually-based doctrine that
began to emerge from the 11th century onwards. Its followers, the Bonpo, are
found especially in Kham (Sichuan) and south-western Tibet, with some
communities in India and Nepal. Bon has incorporated many ideas from
different periods of Tibetan history, resembling Buddhism in its monastic
organization, doctrine and liturgical practices. However, it retains
distinct literary, historical, mythological and cultural identities.

Rituals vary between and within these lineages. Ritual activity is
associated with liturgical texts and includes chant, recitation,
instrumental music and dance. Liturgical texts are essentially metric and
are delivered as recto-tono recitation; in various formulae for intonation
(skad), which can be adapted to the metrics of the text; and using chant
(dbyangs or gyer). Most texts are recited and are usually preceded by a
short chant. The longer dbyangs or gyer are offered to protective deities
and are used for propitiating the important deities Phur-ba and Khro-bo.
Unlike in Buddhist schools, no neumatic notation is used. However, chant is
organized into components similar to neums, which are named and allow for
clear identification of single and compound units.

The most characteristic instrument of Bon is the flat bell, gshang (fig.2).
It is used to punctuate the drum formulae that link the various sections of
a ceremony. Drums (rnga) and cymbals (rol-mo) are required for the
performance of any ceremony. The smaller version of the Bonpo flat bell is
known as sil-snyan; the Buddhist instrument of the same name is known as
sil-chol. These may be accompanied with various patterns at specified points
by long trumpets (dung-chen), long reed aerophones (rgya-gling) and
sometimes short trumpets with a receding bell (ko-yo) and conch-shell
trumpets (dung-dkar).

(ii) Buddhist schools.
There are four main Tibetan Buddhist schools: 'the old ones' or
rnying-ma-pa, so called because of their attachment to the oldest texts
transmitted from India; 'those of the oral tradition', the bka'-brgyud-pa,
who have divided into numerous branches over the course of centuries; 'those
of Sa-skya', the sa-skya-pa, called after their main monastery in central
Tibet; and the reformed school of the 'virtuous', the dge-lugs-pa, who have
stood foremost on the political scene since the 15th century and from among
whom the Dalai Lama is chosen.

The development of monastic life was encouraged by these schools as well as
the reformed Bon, and it is estimated that before 1959 several thousand
monasteries were active in Tibet, some of which served as universities and
hosted thousands of monks. Lengthy theoretical studies were undertaken in
these monasteries, and the liturgical calendar, which was extremely dense,
included substantial musical performances. After the near destruction of
monastic traditions in the 1960s and 70s, calendrical and other rituals are
once again being held, at least partially, in Tibet and in the eastern
provinces of Amdo and Kham. Contemporary monastic institutions in India,
Nepal and Bhutan have maintained the programmes of traditional studies and
the liturgical calendar. They are responsible for performing complex rituals
for the benefit and protection of the faithful.

The dates of the celebrations vary according to the religious school or even
the different monasteries that have developed from the same
'mother-monastery'. However, services in honour of Tara and Mahakala are
performed daily and there are regular weekly and monthly rituals, for
example, the tshes-bcu ritual in honour of Padmasambhava, which is held on
the 10th day of each month in rnying-ma-pa monasteries. One of the most
solemn rituals -- the dgu-gtor -- is held during the final days of the final
month of the Tibetan calendar. It can last for more than one week (from the
23rd to 30th day of the 12th month in the rnying-ma-pa monastery of Zhe-chen

in Bodnath) and is the occasion of a considerable display of music and
ritual dances.

The musical sections of various celebrations depend to a great extent on
oral tradition but also refer to manuals of notations compiled by past
precentors (see §4 below). They make great use of vocal chorus and imply the
intervention of numerous musical instruments (see §3 below). The texts of
the rituals are usually in verse and have been elaborated by various
scholars after canonical texts or spiritual visions. They are enunciated in
various ways. Recto-tono recitative ('don-pa), sometimes performed at an
extremely rapid tempo, is used for the repetitions of mantras deriving from
Indian tradition. They represent in sound the Buddhas and tutelary (yi-dam)
or protective (chos-skyong) deities invoked during the rituals. Psalmody is
used with simple melodic formulae, often called rta (lit. 'horse', but here
meaning [musical] 'mount' or tune), which correspond to one or two lines of
seven or nine syllables or, more rarely, to four-line stanzas. These
formulae are sometimes repeated with a progressive rise in pitch from stanza
to stanza until the end of the text. The 21 stanzas of praise to the 21
Taras are a well-known example of this musical practice of 'systematic
rise'. A slow and solemn way of chanting, called dbyangs (lit. 'vowel'),
involves placing meaningless syllables (tshig-lhad) between the syllables
that make up the text. They are chanted around a fundamental sound with its
timbre modified or ornamented according to procedures peculiar to each
tradition and varying from one monastery to another. Depending on the
solemnity of the ritual, the dbyangs may be either 'short' (less elaborate)
or 'long' (more elaborate). Some, particularly in rnying-ma-pa and
bka'-brgyud-pa traditions, have evocative titles such as 'growl of the
tigress', 'big summer drum' (which evokes thunder) and 'eddying lake
waters'. It was to preserve the memory of these dbyangs that the neumatic
notations from the dbangs-yig were devised (see §4 below).

In his short Musical Treatise (Rol-mo'i bstan-bcos), which has been quoted
continuously since the 13th century, the 'Great scholar of Sa-skya
[monastery]', Sa-skya Pandita, describes the qualities of the chant that
will be 'pleasant to hear' (snyan-pa), with sweetness, a relaxed character
and clarity of enunciation. The chorus of monks, following the dbu-mdzad
(precentor), do their best to obtain such a result, but the ideal remains
difficult to achieve in practice, partly due to the differing ages of the
monks and novices.

Among the dge-lugs-pa, particularly in the Tantric colleges of Rgyud-stod
and Rgyud-smad, the monks cultivate an extremely low register and use what
is considered to be 'the Tantra voice' (rgyud-skad) or, more colloquially,
'the mdzo voice' (the mdzo being a cross between a yak and a cow), described
in the West as biphonic chant. Each singer emits a deep fundamental tone,
simultaneously producing a distinct harmonic or partial of that fundamental
(see Overtone-singing).

Side by side with these ritual forms of chanting, a prominent place is given
to didactic chants (mgur), which are widely used by religious scholars and
mystics to pass on their teaching to their disciples or to the Buddhist
faithful in general. The most famous ones are attributed to the poet and
saint Mi-la ras-pa, who lived in the 11th--12th centuries. Most of the great
Tibetan mystics have composed and still compose such mgur chants, which have
been (and are being) carefully collected by their disciples. The texts are
mostly in lines of seven syllables, and they are sung to melodies that are
close to those of the popular repertory.


Mongol music, §3: Traditional dances
3. Buddhism.
The form of Buddhism that expanded from Tibet into Mongolia during the 13th
and 16th centuries was a blend of Mahayana Buddhism and Tantrism.
Performance traditions and repertories in Mongolian monasteries drew on
different Tibetan traditions and adapted them to their own needs. These
traditions varied according to the four religious orders -- Nyingmapa
(Tibetan rnying ma pa), Kargyudpa (Tibetan bka' brgyud pa), Saskyapa
(Tibetan sa skya pa) and Gelugpa (Tibetan dge lugs pa) -- and their
subdivisions, as well as between monasteries within the same tradition.
During the 13th century Saskyapa and Kargyudpa monks were active in the
Mongol court. The lineages and traditions of the Gelugpa school (called by
Mongols Shar Malgaitai or 'Yellow Hat') gained supremacy when Zanabazar
(1635--1723) became the first incarnate Bogd Gegeen of Urga, Ondor Gegeen.
However, according to monks who have been recently rehabilitated after the
communist period, other schools, collectively referred to as Ulaan Malgaitai
or 'Red Hat', managed to retain some influence until the communist period.

See also Inner asia, §3(iii).
(i) Song texts and notation.
Each monastery had its own manuscripts of song texts and notations
(yan-yig), which were closely guarded. There have been few European
published sources on the forms that notation took or on any Mongolian
Buddhist performance traditions (see Pozdneev, 1887; van Oost, 1915; Pegg,
2001). Four manuscripts entitled Gur Duuny Bichig, containing song texts
used in Nomun Khan monasteries in the early 18th century and the 19th, have
recently been collected in Mongolia. The second and fourth manuscripts also
contain notations (see Notation, §II, 7, fig.11), developed and composed by
successive incarnations of the Nomun Khan, that link the performance of
songs in these monasteries with the tuning of the ten-string, half-tube
zither, yatga. Some of the songs share titles with contemporary long-songs,
for instance, Tumen Eh ('First of 10,000') and Huuryn Magnai ('Foremost of

(ii) Instruments.
Pozdneev (1887) identified 24 liturgical instruments used in monasteries,
including aerophones, idiophones, chordophones and membranophones. The only
instrument indispensable to liturgical performance is said by Mongols to be
the honh, a small embossed bronze bell held in the left hand, together with
the dorje ('diamond', 'lightening' or 'thunderbolt'), held in the right. A
range of cymbals (large-bossed, small-bossed, miniature) and drums are used,
including the double-headed, portable frame drum hengereg and the
double-headed hourglass drum with suspended pellet-strikers, damar. The
thigh-bone trumpet, gangdan buree, normally played in pairs, is used for
invocation of fierce deities and to signal entry of masked lama-dancers in
the ritual dance-drama, tsam. The bishguur (double-reed aerophone) is said
by Ordos Mongols to have been created by gods to yield the sound of an
Indian bird. In all schools, long metal bass trumpets, buree, are used
primarily in Tantric ceremonies of the higher class. A pair that was on
display in the Tantric temple museum of Choijin Lam in Ulaanbaatar during
the communist period was played at the reinstatement of Danzan Ravjaa's
monastery at Hamryn Hiid, East Gobi, in 1993. The white, end-blown,
conch-shell trumpet dun or tsagaan buree is played in pairs in Buddhist

(iii) Masked dance-drama.
When the Buddhist masked dance-drama, tsam (Tibetan 'chams), reached
Mongolia, possibly in the early 18th century, it assimilated elements from
the indigenous shamanic and folk-religious complexes as well as developing
distinctive Mongolian characteristics. Until the communist period it was
held annually, in the first month of summer. A manual for performances at
Mergen Monastery, Inner Mongolia, was written in 1750 by Mergen Diyanci
lama, but the first evidence of performance is at Erdene Juu in 1787. In
1811 it was introduced to Ih or Da Huree (Large Monastery), a former name of
the capital, Ulaanbaatar. The masks, clothes and style of this tsam were
initially based on the dance-book ('chams yig) of the fifth Dalai Lama
Agvanluvsanjamts (Tibetan ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho). Intricate dances
were performed by lamas, masked and dressed to depict a variety of Tantric
and local deities, evil spirits, monsters and animals.

The most powerful tsam, Erlig-yin cim, invoked the Mongolian 'Lord of the
Underworld', the shamanic Erlig Khan. The central figure of the Gelugpa
tsam, Yama, Lord of Death, portrayed by an ox's head with a fierce
countenance, became the Mongolian Choijil, also identified with Erlig Khan.
Black-faced, six-armed Mahakala, worshipped in Mongolia since the days of
Khubilai Khan, was popular as a manifestation of the two-armed Gurgon, Lord
of the Tent, favoured by the Saskya order. The war god Jamsaran appeared
rarely in Tibetan ritual dances, but because of his status as protector of
the Bogd Gegeens and therefore the nation, he was an important figure in
Mongolian tsam. In the annual Khalkha tsam held in Ih Huree, Erlig Khan was
accompanied by the 'Lords of the Four Mountains', situated in the direction
of the four cardinal points from the city. The Tsagaan Ovgon (White Old Man)
character appeared in most Mongolian tsam. One of the folk pantheon of gods,
he was transformed into a joker figure when incorporated into Buddhism.
Similarly, Kashin Khan appeared in most Mongolian tsam, but his
representation and actions varied.

Each monastery had its own versions of tsam, with narratives,
characterizations, dance movements and instrumentaria influenced by the
beliefs, traditions and ethnicity of the resident order. Many local gods and
spirits of the earth and sky were represented. The tsam at Hamryn Hiid
monastery, for instance, featured a demoness called Mam, with black face and
pendulous breasts.

Monks participated in the tsam according to age, grade and level of mystical
knowledge, for characterization involved embodiment of a god and his
attributes. Dance steps and musical accompaniments were complex, carefully
choreographed and required lengthy and careful rehearsals.

(iv) Secular genres in Buddhist contexts.
Non-Buddhist musical genres were used in monastery contexts and by lamas
outside of monasteries in order to attract ordinary herders to Buddhism.
This was particularly the case with the 'Red Hats', whose path to
Enlightenment allowed more work with the community than that of the 'Yellow
Hats'. The 'Red Hat', Danzan Ravjaa (1803--56), the fifth reincarnation of
the Noyon Khutuktu of the Gobi, staged musical dramas accompanied by an
orchestra in a theatre in his monastery. In Saran Hohoonii Namtar
('Biography of the Moon Cuckoo'), put on during the 1830s, he used
dialogue-songs with melodies from long-songs, for example Ovgon Shuvuu Hoyor
('Old Man and Bird') and Galuu Hun Hoyor ('The Goose and the Man').
Performances were also given in the prince's palace, where the actors were
predominantly lamas, and monasteries paid for transport, assistants and so

In west Mongolia, lamas invited epic bards to perform in monasteries, and
the monks themselves even performed and taught novices. The Dorbet bard
Namilan (b 1910) learnt the epics Geser and Khan Harangui from his lama
teacher in Togsbuyant Monastery, and the bard Parchin learnt the epic Bum
Erdene from a performance by Sesren in the Bait monastery in present-day Uvs
province. Epic heroes took on Buddhist characteristics, in particular Geser,
who in Tibet eventually became equated with the Buddhist protective deity
Vaisravana but in Mongolia continued to be worshipped as Geser.


Indonesia, §III: Central Java
6. Performance contexts.
Javanese gamelan is commonly performed in a variety of contexts; there can
be considerable overlap in performance settings, patronage and musical
repertory. Many aspects of performance practice, as well as some items of
repertory, are context-specific, but even these may be 'borrowed' (e.g.
transferred from a dance genre to a theatrical performance of some sort).
Performers tend to be keenly aware of the original contexts of musical items
and practices and differ in their readiness to accept or promulgate such

Performance does not usually take place in a concert hall on a proscenium
stage, although such settings do exist now at government radio stations and
institutions such as the SMKI (Sekolah Menengah Karawitan Indonesia)
conservatory high school in Surakarta. Rather, the more traditional setting
is a pendhapa, a square or rectangular structure with raised floor and
peaked roof supported on numerous columns. One side may be attached to the
verandah of a building, while the other sides are open. Musicians and
audience traditionally sit on the floor, though chairs have come into use
for the audience in some circumstances. Dance and theatre performances
generally draw much larger audiences, with the uninvited often standing on
the ground outside the pendhapa. Such structures were a standard element of
traditional aristocratic architecture and are particularly large and
numerous in Javanese palaces. Traditional village houses lack such opulent
structures but often have a panelled front wall that can be removed,
enabling hundreds of people to hear and see the performance that takes place
under the pendhapa-like roof of the front room. In other situations,
temporary structures are erected with a raised platform for the performers,
often occupying an alley next to the celebrants' house. More intimate
performances may be held inside a house.

Most performances are sponsored to celebrate a particular occasion, such as
a birth, a circumcision, a wedding, independence day, the beginning of the
Javanese year or some other important event or anniversary. People also
sponsor performances to mark their wetonan (a commemoration of a birthday
that recurs every 35 days), to fulfill a vow or to ward off evil. Sponsors
may be individuals or corporate entities such as a bank, a whole village or
a government institution. Sponsors not only hire the performers but provide
them (and, in some cases, the audience) with food. Invitations are often
issued, but the uninvited are rarely excluded and may be numerous,
particularly if the performers are well known. Very few events require the
purchase of tickets. The Javanese courts sponsor many performances to mark
auspicious days, though the number of such performances has decreased
greatly in recent years. The wetonan of the reigning sultan or prince in
each court is marked by a live broadcast on state radio. Other radio
broadcasts originate from studios where the traditional etiquette of
performance is greatly altered.

The most prominent use of gamelan for a religious occasion is the nearly
continual playing of the massive gamelan sekaten in the courtyard of the
main mosques in Yogyakarta and Surakarta to mark the birth of the prophet
each year. The invention of various aspects of gamelan and wayang are
attributed to the Wali, the saints who spread Islam in Java, but there is no
close relation with Muslim institutions, and gamelan performance does not
usually intersect with Muslim religious practice, though some terbangan
genres (featuring terbang frame drum and vocals) share melodies with the
standard gamelan repertory (see below). However, gamelan instruments,
compositions and music theory have all been implicated in mystical beliefs
linked to Sufism and Tantrism (Sastrapustaka, 1984 and Becker, 1993);
certain pieces are believed to be spiritually powerful (even dangerous) and
gamelan performance is sometimes used for meditation. Alongside the
attributions to Muslim saints other origin myths link the creation of
gamelan to Hindu gods and legendary Javanese figures (see Hood, 1970). The
goddess of the South Seas, Nyai Rara Kidul, figures prominently in beliefs
about certain sacred dances and musical compositions. Gamelan is an
important element in certain rituals such as sacred dances performed
annually at the major palaces or purification ceremonies involving special
shadow play (ruwatan). Gamelan has occasionally been played in Javanese
churches. New masses and individual pieces have been composed, and existing
gamelan compositions have been adapted for Christian use, first in the
Catholic Church and later in Protestant churches.

(i) Klenengan.
(ii) Theatre.
(iii) Dance.


Buddhist music
and other resources
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Tennyi Dargyeling (Delhi, 1997)


Indonesia, §III: Central Java: Bibliography
T.S. Raffles: The History of Java (London, 1817/R)
P.A. Leupe: 'Reijsbeschrijving van den weg uijt Samarangh, nae de
konincklijke hoofdplaets Mataram ..., door Rijckloff van Goens', Bijdragen
tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde van het Koninklijk Instituut voor taal-,
land- en volkenkunde, iv (1856), 307--50
J. Groneman: De gamelan te Jogjakarta (Amsterdam, 1890)
E. Jacobson and J.H. van Hasselt: De gong-fabricatie te Semarang [The
manufacture of gongs in Semarang] (Leiden, 1907); Eng. trans. in Indonesia,
no.19 (1975), 127--72
K.D. Gunasentika II: Serat titi asri, ed. S. Hardasukarta and M.N.
Mlajadimedja (Surakarta, 1925)
J. Kunst and R. Goris: Hindoe-Javaansche
muziek-instrumenten(Weltevreden,1927; Eng. trans., rev., 2/1968)
J. Kunst: De toonkunst van Java (The Hague, 1934; Eng. trans., rev., 2/1949
as Music in Java, enlarged 3/1973 by E.L. Heins)
R. Hardjowirogo: Patokaning njekaraken [The fundamentals of versification]
(Jakarta, 1952)
M. Hood: The Nuclear Theme as a Determinant of Patet in Javanese Music
(Groningen, 1954/R)
M. Hood: 'Slendro and pelog Redefined', Selected Reports, i/1 (1966), 28--48
H. Susilo: Drumming in the Context of Javanese Gamelan (thesis, UCLA, 1967)
M. Hood: 'The Effect of Medieval Technology on Musical Style in the Orient',
Selected Reports, i/3 (1970), 147--70
Javanese Court Gamelan, i--iii, Nonesuch 72044, 72074, 72083 (1971--9); i
reissued as Elektra Nonesuch 9 72044-2 (1991) [recordings from Pura Paku
Alaman, Yogyakarta; Mangkunegaran Palace, Surakarta; and Kraton, Yogyakarta,
W. Surjodiningrat, P.J. Sudarjana and A. Susanto: Tone Measurements of
Outstanding Javanese Gamelan in Jogjakarta and Surakarta (Jogjakarta, 1972)
M. Kartomi: Macapat Songs in Central Java (Canberra, 1973)
M. Kartomi: 'Music and Trance in Central Java', EthM, xvii (1973), 163--208
V. McDermott and Sumarsam: 'Central Javanese Music: the patet of laras
slendro and the gender barung', EthM, xix (1975), 233--44
Sumarsam: 'Gender Barung, its Technique and Function in the Context of
Javanese Gamelan', Indonesia, no.20 (1975), 161--72
M. Kartomi: 'Performance, Music and Meaning of Reyog Ponorogo', Indonesia,
no.22 (1976), 85--130
S.B. Hoffman: 'Epistemology and Music: a Javanese Example', EthM, xxii
(1978), 69--88
R.A. Sutton: 'Toward a Grammar of Variation in Javanese gender Playing',
EthM, xxii (1978), 275--96
A. and J. Becker: 'A Grammar of the Genre srepegan', JMT, xxiv (1979),
1--43; repr. in AsM, xiv/1 (1983), 30--72
J. Becker: 'Time and Tune in Java', The Imagination of Reality: Essays in
Southeast Asian Coherence Systems: Ann Arbor 1974, ed. A.L. Becker and A.A.
Yengoyan (Norwood, NJ, 1979), 197--210
M. Hatch: 'Towards a More Open Approach to the History of Javanese Music',
Indonesia, no.27 (1979), 129--54
R.A. Sutton: 'Concept and Treatment in Javanese Gamelan Music, with
Reference to the Gambang', AsM, xi/1 (1979), 59--79
J. Becker: Traditional Music in Modern Java (Honolulu, 1980)
A. Dea: Bawa: a Javanese Solo Vocal Music (diss., Wesleyan U., 1980)
W. Forrest: 'Concepts of Melodic Pattern in Contemporary Solonese Gamelan
Music', AsM, xi/2 (1980), 53--127
M. Hatch: Lagu, Laras, Layang: Rethinking Melody in Javanese Music (diss.,
Cornell U., 1980)
M. Hood: Music of the Roaring Sea, The Evolution of Javanese Gamelan, i
J. and A. Becker: 'A Musical Icon: Power and Meaning in Javanese Gamelan
Music', The Sign in Music and Literature, ed. W. Steiner (Austin, TX, 1981),
K.P.A. Kusumadilaga: Serat Sastramiruda [Book of Sastramiruda] (Jakarta,
1981) [Javanese orig. written in 1879]
Sumarsam: 'The Musical Practice of the Gamelan Sekaten', AsM, xii/2 (1981),
R. Vetter: 'Flexibility of Performance Practice of Central Javanese Music',
EthM, xxv (1981), 199--214
R.A. Sutton: Variation in Javanese Gamelan Music: Dynamics of a Steady State
(diss., U. of Michigan, 1982)
M. Perlman: 'A Grammar of the Musical Genre srepegan', AsM, xiv/1 (1983),
J. Becker and A. Feinstein, ed.: Karawitan: Source Readings in Javanese
Gamelan and Vocal Music (Ann Arbor, 1984--8)
M. Hood: The Legacy of the Roaring Sea, The Evolution of Javanese Gamelan,
ii (Wilhelmshaven, 1984)
R.N. Martopangrawit: 'Notes on Knowledge of Gamelan Music', Karawitan:
Source Readings in Javanese Gamelan and Vocal Music, i, ed. J. Becker and A.
Feinstein (Ann Arbor, 1984), 1--244 [Javanese orig. pubd. Surakarta, 2/1975]
R.M.K. Poerbapangrawit: 'Javanese Gamelan Music', Karawitan: Source Readings
in Javanese Gamelan and Vocal Music, i, ed. J. Becker and A. Feinstein (Ann
Arbor, 1984), 409--38 [Javanese orig. pubd. Jakarta, 1955]
B.Y.H. Sastrapustaka: 'Wedha pradangga kawedhar' [Knowledge of gamelan
revealed], Karawitan: Source Readings in Javanese Gamelan and Vocal Music,
i, ed. J. Becker and A. Feinstein (Ann Arbor, 1984), 305--34 [Javanese orig.
written Surakarta, 1953--78]
Sindoesawarno: 'Faktor penting dalam gamelan' [Important aspects of
gamelan], Karawitan: Source Readings in Javanese Gamelan and Vocal Music, i,
ed. J. Becker and A. Feinstein (Ann Arbor, 1984), 389--407 [Indonesian orig.
pubd. Sana-Budaja, i/3 (1956), 136--48]
Sumarsam: 'Inner Melody', Karawitan: Source Readings in Javanese Gamelan and
Vocal Music, i, ed. J. Becker and A. Feinstein (Ann Arbor, 1984), 245--304
B. Brinner: Competence and Interaction in the Performance of Pathetan in
Central Java (diss., U. of California, 1985)
S. Hastanto: The Concept of Pathet in Central Javanese Music (diss., U. of
Durham, 1985)
J. Lindsay: Klasik, Kitsch or Contemporary: a Study of the Javanese
Performing Arts (diss., U. of Sydney, 1985)
R. Supanggah: Introduction aux styles d'interpretation dans la musique
javanaise (diss., U. of Paris, 1985)
R.R. Vetter: Music for 'The Lap of the World': Gamelan Performance,
Performers and Repertoire in the Kraton Yogyakarta (diss., U. of Wisconsin,
J. Pemberton: 'Musical Politics in Central Java (or, How Not to Listen to a
Javanese Gamelan)', Indonesia, no.44 (1987), 17--30
Sindoesawarno: 'Ilmu karawitan' [Knowledge of gamelan music], Karawitan:
Source Readings in Javanese Gamelan and Vocal Music, ii, ed. J. Becker and
A. Feinstein (Ann Arbor,1987), 311--87 [Indonesian orig. pubd. Surakarta,
S.P. Walton: Mode in Javanese Music (Athens, OH, 1987)
K.R.T. Warsadiningrat: 'Wedha pradangga' [Sacred knowledge about gamelan
music], Karawitan: Source Readings in Javanese Gamelan and Vocal Music, ii,
ed. J. Becker and A. Feinstein (Ann Arbor, 1987), 1--170 [Javanese orig.
written in 1943]
P. Yampolsky: Lokananta: a Discography of the National Recording Company of
Indonesia 1957--1985 (Madison, WI, 1987)
J. Becker: 'Earth, Fire, sakti and the Javanese Gamelan', EthM, xxxii
(1988), 385--91
M. Hood: Paragon of the Roaring Sea, The Evolution of Javanese Gamelan, iii
(Wilhelmshaven, 1988)
D. Hughes: 'Deep Structure and Surface Structure in Javanese Music: a
Grammar of gendhing lampah', EthM, xxxii (1988), 23--74
R. Supanggah: 'Balungan', Balungan, iii/2 (1988), 2--10 [Indonesian orig.
pubd.Seni Pertunjukan Indonesia, i/1 (1990), 115--36]
B. Brinner: 'At the Border of Sound and Silence: the Use and Function of
Pathetan in Javanese Gamelan', AsM, xxi/1 (1989--90), 1--34
H. Susilo: 'The Logogenesis of Gendhing Lampah', Progress Reports in
Ethnomusicology, ii/5 (1989), 1--17
R. Vetter: 'Animism, Hinduism, Islam and the West: Fusion in Musical and
Visual Symbolism in a Javanese Ceremony', Progress Reports in
Ethnomusicology, ii/4 (1989), 1--12
R. Vetter: 'A Retrospect on a Century of Gamelan Tone Measurements', EthM,
xxxiii (1989), 217--28
S. Astono: Pengenalan terhadap cengkok cengkok siteran [Concerning cengkok
for siter] (Surakarta, 1990)
M. Kartomi: 'Music in Nineteenth-Century Java: a Precursor to the Twentieth
Century', Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, xxi/1 (1990), 1--34
Sugimin: Kendangan karawitan Yogyakarta versi Bapak Projsoduirjo [Drumming
for Yogyakarta-style karawitan: Bapak Projsoduirjo's version] (Surakarta,
Suraji: Onang-onang: gendhing kethuk 2 kerep minggah 4: sebuah tinjauan
tentang garap, fungsi serta struktur musikalnya [The gendhing Onang-onang
... an observation regarding garap, function and musical structure]
(Surakarta, 1991)
Sutiknowati: Kendangan ciblon versi Panuju Atmosunarto [Ciblon drumming:
Panuju Atmosunarto's version] (Surakarta, 1991)
R.A. Sutton: Traditions of Gamelan Music in Java: Musical Pluralism and
Regional Identity (Cambridge, 1991)
D. Wong and R.T.A. Lysloff: 'Threshold to the Sacred: the Overture in Thai
and Javanese Ritual Performance', EthM, xxxv (1991), 315--48
B. Arps: Tembang in Two Traditions: Performance and Interpretation of
Javanese Literature (London, 1992)
The Music of K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, CMP Records CD 3007 (1992)
Sumarsam: Historical Contexts and Theories of Javanese Music (diss., Cornell
U., 1992)
J. Becker: Gamelan Stories: Tantrism, Islam and Aesthetics in Central Java
(Tempe, AZ, 1993)
B. Brinner: 'A Musical Time Capsule from Java', JAMS, xlvi/2 (1993), 221--60
B. Brinner: 'Freedom and Formulaity in the suling Playing of Bapak
Tarnopangrawit', AsM, xxiv/2 (1993), 1--38
R.A. Sutton: Variation in Central Javanese Gamelan Music: Dynamics of a
Steady State (DeKalb, IL, 1993)
S. Weiss: 'Gender and gender: Gender Ideology and the Female gender Player
in Central Java', Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions, ed.
K. Marshall (Boston, 1993), 21--48
N.I. Cooper: The Sirens of Java: Gender Ideologies, Mythologies and Practice
in Central Java (diss., U. of Hawaii, 1994)
M. Perlman: Unplayed Melodies: Music Theory in Postcolonial Java (diss.,
Wesleyan U., 1994)
B. Brinner: 'Cultural Matrices and Innovation in Central Javanese Performing
Arts', EthM, xxix (1995), 433--56
B. Brinner: Knowing Music, Making Music: the Theory of Competence and
Interaction in Javanese Gamelan (Chicago, 1995)
Sumarsam: Gamelan: Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central
Java (Chicago, 1995)
M. Perlman and C.L. Krumhansl: 'An Experimental Study of Internal Interval
Standards in Javanese and Western Musicians', Music Perception, xiv/2
(1996), 95--116
Rebab and Female Singing of Central Javanese Gamelan, King Record KICC-5211
R.A. Sutton: 'Interpreting Electronic Sound Technology in the Contemporary
Javanese Soundscape', EthM, xl (1996), 249--68
M. Perlman: 'Conflicting Interpretations: Indigenous Analysis and Historical
Change in Central Javanese Music', AsM, xxviii/1 (1997), 115--40
S.P. Walton: Heavenly Nymphs and Earthly Delights: Javanese Female Singers,
their Music and their Lives (diss., U. of Michigan, 1997)


South-east Asia, §7: Mass media and popular music: Bibliography
J. Groneman: De gamelan te Jogjakarta (Amsterdam, 1890)
J. Kunst and C.J.A.Kunst-van Wely: De toonkunst van Bali (Weltevreden, 1925)
W. Kaudern: Musical Instruments in Celebes, Ethnographical Studies in
Celebes, iii (Goteborg, 1927)
J. Kunst: Hindoe-javaansche muziek-instrumenten, speciaal die van Oost-Java
(Weltevreden, 1927; Eng. trans., enlarged, 1968, as Hindu-Javanese Musical
J. Kunst: De toonkunst van Java (The Hague, 1934; Eng. trans., 1949,
enlarged 3/1973 as Music in Java)
M. Hood: The Nuclear Theme as a Determinant of Patet in Javanese Music
(Groningen, 1954)
C. McPhee: Music in Bali (New Haven, 1966)
R.L. Martopangrawit: Titilaras kendangan [Drum notation] (Surakarta, 1972)
S. Mloyowidodo: Gending-gending Jawa, gaya Surakarta [Javanese gamelan
pieces, Surakarta style] (Surakarta,1976)
J. Becker: Traditional Music in Modern Java: Gamelan in a Changing Society
(Honolulu, 1980)
R. Schumacher: Die Suluk-Gesange des Dalang im Schattenspiel Zentraljavas
(Munich, 1980)
J. Becker and A.Feinstein, eds.: Karawitan: Source Readings in Javanese
Gamelan and Vocal Music, i (Ann Arbor, 1984) [incl. trans. of R.L.
Martopangrawit: Pengetahuan Karawitan, i (Knowledge of Gamelan Music),
1--121; trans. of R.L. Martopangrawit: Pengetahuan Karawitan, ii (Knowledge
of Gamelan Music), 123--244; Sumarsam: 'Inner Melody in Javanese Gamelan',
J. Lindsay: Klasik Kitsch or Contemporary: a Study of the Javanese
Performing Arts (diss., U. of Sydney, 1985)
R.A. Sutton: 'Commercial Cassette Recordings of Traditional Music in Java:
Implications for Performers and Scholars', World of Music, xxvii/3 (1985),
W. van Zanten: Sundanese Music in the Cianjuran Style: Anthropological and
Musicological Aspects of Tembang Sunda (Dordrecht, 1989)
S. Williams: The Urbanization of Tembang Sunda, an Aristocratic Musical
Genre from West Java, Indonesia (diss., U. of Washington, 1990)
R.A. Sutton: Traditions of Gamelan Music in Java: Musical Pluralism and
Regional Identity (Cambridge, 1991)
M. Tenzer: Balinese Music (Berkeley, 1991)
B. Arps: Tembang in Two Traditions: Performance and Interpretation of
Javanese Literature (London, 1992)
J. Becker: Gamelan Stories: Tantrism, Islam, and Aesthetics in Central Java
(Tempe, AZ, 1992)
M. Perlman: Unplayed Melodies: Music Theory in Post-Colonial Java (diss.,
Wesleyan U., 1993)
R.A. Sutton: Variation in Central Javanese Gamelan Music (DeKalb, IL, 1993)
J. Kunst, E.L. Heins, E. den Otter and F. van Lamsweerde: Indonesian Music
and Dance: Traditional Music and its Interaction with the West (Amsterdam,
B. Brinner: Knowing Music, Making Music: Javanese Gamelan Music and the
Theory of Musical Competence and Interaction (Chicago, 1995)
Sumarsam: Gamelan: Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central
Java (Chicago, 1995)


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