New composition for Javanese gamelan
The Akademi Seni Karawitan (ASKI), in Sukarta, Central Java, one of Indonesia's leading performing arts institutes, has in the last few years (1979-1985) been the centre of a radical experimental movement exploring and extending the resources of traditional gamaeln music (karawitan). The purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyse this development and resulting new works. The term used for the creative process and the resulting compositions themselves "komposisi", leading some observers to conclude that Western influence is a decisive factor. Closer investigation, however, raises important questions, e. g. Is the Western concept of "composition" compatible with traditional karawitan? Why are young Javanese musicians expressing their creativity in this way? The context of the traditional music system and recent cultural change which form the background to the experimental movement are examined in 5 preliminary essays. Chapters 2 and 3 cover physical resources (gamelan) and conceptual resources (karawitan) providing the point of departure for the young composers. The very different creative role of the "composer" in traditional karawitan is then outlined in Chapter 4. Recent changes affecting the traditional arts are examined in Chapter 5; and in Chapter 6, the aesthetic and artistic goals of ASKI's director S.D. Humardani are discussed, together with the initial steps in putting these into effect. In Chapter 7, the new creative process is examined, while in Chapter 8 twenty-one compositions are subjected to systematic analysis, making extensive use of written and recorded musical examples. Questions of form and structure are raised in Chapter 9; and in Chapter 10 six representative works are given in full, recordings being provided on cassette, and translated editions of the composers' original notations in an appendix. The problems of critical evaluation are raised in Chapter 11, which goes on to consider the implications of these new compositions in a wider context.