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Gamelan entire world is in the Orff orchestra. Let's explore the Asian portion of the ensemble, that which was inspired by the gamelans of Southeast Asia. The sound of these amazing groups is very exotic, exciting, and thrilling to Western ears. Take a listen...

Notice how the opposite hand dampens the bar after the strike.

Javanese gamelans have a different texture. The tempo is slower and the texture is thicker. Mesmerizing!

This is the "monkey dance." I saw this done live at the American Spoleto festival in the early 90s. It's spectacular. The tempo is blindingly fast and the quick notes are performed by elaborate hocket ostinato patterns. To hear a more Western version of this concept, check out this video.

Does this singing style remind you of anything? Native American perhaps?  Hmmmm

I'm very skeptical of the old "land bridge" explanation of how people came to inhabit North America. I find it very condescending. I think that the musical tradition of the people who came here was from Southern Asia, specifically the seafaring peoples of the island nations there. The music of the people of America seem to agree with this supposition.


Hi, Suzanne! I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you what a great job you have done with this blog! You are obviously very passionate about what you do!

We've recently launched a subscription-based website called The Singing Classroom! The site features songs, games, videos and animations, all to help elementary music teachers with their curriculum!

We, too, have a blog that is dedicated to publicizing music education conferences, trainings, and events around the world. We also are looking to have music teachers write guest posts on relevant hot topics for music teachers. Would you be interested in writing a guest post sometime? In exchange for this post, Deborah would be happy to return the favor and write a guest post on your blog, if you'd like!:)

Have a great summer!
Gregg Pasternack
Marketing Director
The Singing Classroom

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