In Javanese Gamelan and the West, gamelan performer and scholar Sumarsam explores the concept of hybridity in performance traditions that have developed in the context of Javanese encounters with the West. The book begins by looking at the "domestication" of Western music in Java during the colonial and postcolonial eras, including brass bands in gendhing mares court music and West Javanese tanjidor; Western elements in contemporary wayang puppet plays; and works by contemporary composers and a choreographer. In the second part of the book, Sumarsam turns to the presentation and representation of gamelan in the West, exploring cross-cultural perspectives on gamelan theory and discussing the presence of gamelan in Western World's Fairs and American academia. Framing his discussion within the perspectives of interculturalism and hybridization, Sumarsam demonstrates how Javanese performing arts have developed over time as a manifestation and reflection of overlapping networks of individual, social, and institutional actions and ideas. Sumarsam is a University Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. He is the author of Gamelan: Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central Java (University of Chicago Press, 1995) and numerous articles in English and Indonesian. As a gamelan musician and a keen amateur dhalang (puppeteer) of Javanese wayang puppet play, he performs, conducts workshops, and lectures throughout the US, Australia, Europe, and Asia.
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