Journal of Undergraduate Research


gamelan ensemble, music, piano


Fine Arts and Communications




This project began with a simple idea; what elements are important in representing other culture’s music and do we overlook certain elements because of our cultural biases? I wanted to see what would happen if I merged the quintessentially Western instrument, the piano, with the Balinese gamelan. This had been explored by previous composers who have made transcriptions of Balinese music for piano and have taken Balinese musical forms and composed new pieces for western instruments but they had ignored aspects of Balinese music that the Balinese consider extremely important. Balinese instruments are very carefully tuned using a scale that is different from the Western system and also incorporate the phenomena of beating into paired instruments which creates a wavelike vibrato between the instruments. I felt that if Balinese music was going to be recreated by western instruments, these elements which are so important in Balinese music should be taken into account.

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