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.
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Bakan, Michael B.
"War of the Worlds: Music and Cosmological Battles in the Balinese Cremation Procession,"
Yale Journal of Music & Religion:
2, Article 8.
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