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Abstract

Abstract

This article explores processional action as a form of cosmological intervention in Hindu-Balinese cremation processions, focusing on the multiple and intersecting functions of a particular type of Balinese instrumental music ensemble: the gamelan beleganjur. It explores the alternately “enlivening and protective aspects” (DeVale 1990, 62) that underlie the use of beleganjur music in the ngaben, or cremation ritual, showing how beleganjur’s sonic power and rhythmic drive serve to combat malevolent spirit beings, strengthen and inspire processional participants in their efforts to meet challenging ritual obligations, and grant courage to the souls of deceased individuals embarking on their perilous afterlife journeys.

Author Biography

Biography

Michael Bakan is Professor of Ethnomusicology at Florida State University, where he directs the Sekaa Gong Hanuman Agung Balinese Gamelan. He is the author of the books Music of Death and New Creation: Experiences in the World of Balinese Gamelan Beleganjur and World Music: Traditions and Transformations, as well as of more than fifty articles, chapters in edited volumes, and reviews. He edits the Routledge Focus on World Music Series and has performed or recorded with leading gamelan groups in Bali and with George Clinton, Tito Puente, Rudolf Serkin, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

 

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