Gamelan in Modern Indonesia

Subject MUSI20138 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A one-hour lecture and a two-hour rehearsal each week during the semester
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Not available to BMus students

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 subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Graeme Counsel, Prof Catherine Falk



Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and Music Student Centre

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the gong/chime cultures of Southeast Asia by focusing on the percussion-based practice of the Central Javanese orchestra or gamelan. Featuring hanging bronze gongs, deep resonant drums and interlocking melodies played on smaller gongs and mallet percussion instruments, students will receive hands-on tuition in this unique form of orchestral music. By using the theoretical premise of music as social action, lectures focus on how traditional gamelan thrives in modern-day Indonesia as the music transforms and changes in this rapidly modernizing archipelago.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

• demonstrate through practice and in theoretical language a basic knowledge of the main principles, concepts and performance techniques of Javanese gamelan music, dance and theatre;
• demonstrate their ability to work cooperatively as a member of the gamelan;
• realise in practice various forms of interdependent musical parts;
• perform an excerpt from the repertoire of the Javanese shadow puppet theatre;
• demonstrate an understanding of terminology, and the cultural, historical and socio-political contexts of gamelan performing arts; and
• cultivate aurally-based performance skills on the gamelan through ensemble rehearsal and performance;
• develop an understanding of alternate modes of learning and teaching in an oral tradition of music


Attendance and active participation in all rehearsals and performances throughout the semester (50%); A one hour written exam during the examination period (30%); A thirty-minute listening test during week 11 (20%).

In order to pass the subject, students must attend and participate in all ensemble rehearsals and performances during the semester, as directed. Less than 80% attendance will result in a fail.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online through the LMS before the commencement of the semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

• demonstrate an openness to diverse musical forms and culture connected to musics of the world and specifically Indonesian gamelan;
• make informed critical responses to academic discourse on music and modernity and musical continuity and change;
• demonstrate skills in cooperation, communication and negotiation that allow for effective working in teams; and
• communicate their ideas about music in its sociocultural context

Related Breadth Track(s): Non-western music performance

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