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Gordon Rule Paper 4

819 words - 4 pages

Throughout the year we have delved into the culture of various different countries and we have learned their ways and their religion. We went about this, however, in a completely different way than what is normally done when examining and studying other cultures; we learned an amazing amount of information about these cultures simply by looking at their music. This semester I have learned about fascinating cultures from different cultures such as Indonesia, India, and Africa, and I have learned how exactly these countries have expressed their cultures through their music. It really has been an interesting semester that has taught me much.
Indonesia was the first culture we examined in class. Compared to the other cultures we examined later on in the semester, this was the most peculiar culture, at least in my opinion. This culture’s most unique style of music is definitely gamelan. Gamelan is possibly the most interesting style of music I have ever experienced. This style of music is not even written down or even rehearsed, from what I understood in the videos that were shown in class. The music “revolves” around a basic gong cycle, which serves as the music’s foundation and it is almost entirely improvised. One musicians group will do their own thing, and another section of musicians in charge of different instruments follows and begins to play, following the rhythm the other group had begun and adding to it. This is done many times, until there is a variety of interlocking rhythms that come together and form a calming but fascinating sound. Apart from its peculiar sound and style, gamelan is very symbolic and religious. For example, the interlocking texture of the kilitan telu rhythmic patterns is a musical symbol of communal interdependence in Balinese society. Also, Gamelan Beleganjur music often plays a key role in ritual activities enacted to combat the forces of evil. This music and culture is truly fascinating, and there is so much culture hidden in the sound of the gongs that are at the foundation of Indonesian music, I could honestly write a whole essay on simply Indonesian music, but we must move on to the second culture I learned about this semester: the Indian culture.
Indian music is similar to Indonesian music in that it is also very symbolic and religious and representative of the Hindu culture. During this part of the semester I learned how music is almost everywhere in...

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