Introduction to Gamelan Performance

Subject MUSI90132 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

August, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Classes run 9:00am - 4:00pm on each day.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


VCA and Music Student Centre
234 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

Tel: +61 3 9685 9322
Fax: +61 3 9685 9358

School of Music - Parkville
Conservatorium Building

Tel: +61 3 8344 5256
Fax: +61 3 8344 5346
Email via:

Subject Overview: The Gamelan (Indonesian orchestra) rehearses on the magnificent bronze slendro-pelog gamelan from central Java, Indonesia in the School of Music. Students will learn to play the instruments of the gamelan leading to a short performance of a shadow puppet play (wayang); learn some aspects of the cultural context of gamelan music; and will learn how to teach short forms of gamelan music (lancaran,ladrang and ketawang).

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural background and function of gamelan in Indonesia and abroad;
  • Play several pieces of gamelan music on various instruments;
  • Demonstrate their ability to work cooperatively as a member of the gamelan;
  • Perform selected repertoire to concert standard.

A performance assessment at the end of Day 4 (50%); a short answer assignment of 2,000 words, due 4 weeks after the final teaching date (30%) and an essay of 1500 words due six weeks after the end of the subject (20%).

All components of the assessment must be passed in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Brinner, Benjamin. Music in Central Java: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

A reading pack will be distributed before the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate increased ability in musical coordination, memory and listening;
  • Demonstrate teamwork skills in rehearsal/ performance groups;
  • Apply time and people management skills to rehearsal and performance planning;
  • Demonstrate the ability to incorporate practical musical skills in unfamiliar musical traditions into their musical life;
  • Study selected repertoire relevant to the ensemble to performance standard.
Related Course(s): Master of Music Studies

Download PDF version.