Pedagogy, Performance, and Community in the Transnational Balinese Traditional Performing Arts Scene
Clendinning, Elizabeth A. (author)
Bakan, Michael B. (professor directing dissertation)
Erndl, Kathleen M. (university representative)
Gunderson, Frank (committee member)
Van Glahn, Denise (committee member)
College of Music (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
Gamelan music and its associated performing arts are central to the unique social structures and religious practices that define cultural life on the island of Bali, Indonesia. However, hundreds of Balinese gamelan ensembles also exist outside of the island, sustained by the collaboration of Balinese and foreign musicians, scholars, and teachers. Despite extensive scholarship on gamelan culture in Bali, little systematic scholarly attention has been paid to the Balinese performing arts within an international community, especially in terms of pedagogy. Gamelan groups--Balinese and otherwise--first came to be established in North America in conjunction with institutions of higher education and formed an early part of multicultural arts education in American universities. Conversely, Indonesian arts institutions were established in response to and are still influenced by Western educational ideas. The peregrinations of and cultural interchange between American and Balinese musician-teacher-scholars form this international community of performers and pedagogues. This dissertation examines Balinese gamelan as a case study of transnational performing arts pedagogy. I focus on the career and community of one Balinese-American performer-teacher--I Madé Lasmawan--as a lens through which to examine social, cultural, musical, educational, and community issues that revolve around this transnational teacher-performer phenomenon. Through experiences gathered from observation, discussion, interviews, taking lessons, and playing and performing with Lasmawan and members of his community, I examine the impact that his teaching-in-travel has upon both his personal career and more broadly on his American and Balinese communities, particularly in developing international institutionalization of music culture. I then contextualize and compare Lasmawan's world with those of others involved in Balinese performing arts education, in turn drawing conclusions about the role of this transnational pedagogical community within the broader international Balinese performing arts scene. In that this study explores the transnational careers of Balinese musical performers, composers, and pedagogues as normative rather than exceptional, it engages current conceptions of diaspora theory, globalization, and cosmopolitanism, not only relative to the Balinese case study at hand but also more broadly in relationship to anthropology, ethnomusicology, and related disciplines. I emphasize the importance of pedagogy--specifically, within the formation and maintenance of Balinese gamelan groups that consist primarily of non-ethnic Balinese outside of Bali--as a means for not only disseminating Balinese musical culture outside of Bali, but as influencing the pedagogy and practice of Balinese traditional music and cultures within Bali. In viewing the Balinese performing arts community as one that is in large part structurally based on pedagogical, artistic, and musical kinship lineages, I position Balinese musical teaching-learning cultures within the United States as an extension of Balinese cultural systems of maintaining musical traditions. Finally, by exploring international Balinese gamelan pedagogy in terms of relationships between the individuals involved and their institutions, I offer insights into the political and social effects of academically oriented musicians and scholars not only on the shape of their own educational systems and cultural institutions, but also on systems of cultural and artistic value that exist outside of academia at both local and international levels.
Bali, Gamelan, Indonesia, Pedagogy, Performance, United States
October 4, 2013.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Michael B. Bakan, Professor Directing Dissertation; Kathleen M. Erndl, University Representative; Frank Gunderson, Committee Member; Denise Von Glahn, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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