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In Bali there is a fundamental integration of the performing arts into daily social and religious activities. No celebration or gathering is complete without music and dance.

A variety of materials are used in the production of instruments. Most gamelan consist of bronze keys in carved wooden frames suspended over bamboo resonator, together with a number of bronze gongs, drums, cymbals, flutes and an assortment of smaller percussion instruments. But there are bamboo gamelan ensembles as well - entire orchestra composed of bamboo marimbas or flutes. All gamelan instruments are believed to contain a spiritual power which must be respected with proper offerings and rituals.

There are three types of gamelan . The most impressive of these is the gamelan jegog, found exclusively in the western of Jembrana. In jegog ensembles, the largest bass instrument from bamboo (diameter = 12 inches ; length = 10 feet). It can produce low tones of incredible purity and depth that can often be heard for miles around. The gamelan selunding is a rare and sacred ensemble, some selunding melodies are considered extremely sacred, and may not be played except on certain ritual occasions. The most common type of gamelan is the gong kebyar - a bronze orchestra consisting of a number of metallophones , tuned gongs, cymbals, flutes and drums.

Balinese Music and Dance Class - by Yayasan Polos Seni (Foundation for Pure Art) in Ubud, offers Balinese music and dance classes for students who wish to become fully involved with the music & dance culture of Bali. There are 2-week courses to learn playing the Gamelan at the Museum Seni Klasik in Klungkung which is open for all levels of experience. Beginners as well as "non-musicians" are welcome.


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