Gamelan: The Traditional Music Instrument in Bali

Bali is a rich island with its culture. Now we will talk about the traditional music of Bali. Same with his neighbor, Java island Bali use Gamelan too as his traditional instrument music. Gamelan is a traditional music ensemble of Java and Bali, typically including many bronze percussion instruments. The word Gamelan comes from Javanese word that has means ‘to strike with a mallet’.

Gambar oleh Nicolaus Erwin dari Pixabay

Balinese Gamelan is familiar with Javanese Gamelan. But it is very different. One of the big characteristics of Balinese Gamelan is there is a lot of sudden changes in tempo and dynamic. Besides that, the music of Gamelan Bali is quite complex and vibrant, whereas Javanese Gameland tends to be quieter and Solem. Here in Bali, the original purpose of playing Gamelan is to pray, to serve religious beliefs, accompanying wayang theatre or dances.

For Balinese Gamelan is the essential part of Balinese ceremony. We can say you couldn’t hold a ceremony without playing Gamelan. Balinese believe that the human ability to playing music instrument comes from Gods, so when people hold a ceremony Gamelan is a must, and the player must show gratitude when playing Gamelan.

Balinese also believe that some Gods love and prefer to music. For example, during the cremation ceremony playing Gamelan will make the deceased spirit entertained, help and guide them to their way to heaven.

Nowadays Balinese Gamelan has another important purpose, entertaining the tourist and introducing the culture for foreigners. You’ll found daily Gamelan play in hotels, airports or in the temple.

Ok, All in all, Gamelan is an important part of Bali’s culture that has a big cup to place your creativity through music. and also a new cultural experience for tourist and foreigners!

Saraswati Celebration : The day of knowledge and arts

Saraswati is the one of Hindu Gods represented as a beautiful woman that have a knowledge like a river flow. She will give an help or enlightenment to everyone who are willing to study. Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and arts. She has 4 arms, every arm symbolizing a different concept. Her immanence and transcendence, her front arm illustrated the Goddess activity in materiel realm and the back arm is the spiritual realm. The four arms also represent the four elements of inner life which include mind, intellect, ego, and consciousness.

Saraswati is illustrated as a very beautiful woman with four arms. holding (and playing) a zither, scriptures and rosary beads. It means that Saraswati is Goddess of arts too, that reminder us to live in harmony with the others and the world.  Saraswati has 2 holy animals as her conveyance. The swan represent beauty and the ability of knowledge to filter good and bad habits. The peacock represents beauty and dance,  along with the swan it becomes a vehicle to deliver the knowledge given by God. The last thing, Sarasawati sit on a big white lotus that represent purity and knowledge, it symbolizes to remain untouched by bad or negative influences which may surround an individual. Read more “Saraswati Celebration : The day of knowledge and arts”

Bali’s Offerings

Canang Sari

If you traveling around Bali, you may see small palm leaf-basket box with a combination of colorful flower  (and at some point accidentally step on), that is Bali’s offerings. These offerings called Canang Sari. Canang means a palm basket of flower and sari mean the essence. In most Hindu temples, house, the street, you will see the new offering every day with a fresh flower, money coin, or a little snack inside the palm basket, and a burning incense stick is placed on the top of the offerings.

You will see Canang Sari everywhere, on the sidewalks, streets, stairwells, ledges, temple, or in front of  Balinese house. Read more “Bali’s Offerings”

Frangipani : The Flower Identity of Bali

Frangipani or Balinese called it ‘Bunga Jepun’ or javanais called it ‘bunga kamboja’.

Frangipani is from Central America. In Java, generally, frangipani is planted in graves. This makes frangipani have a scary and frightening impression. However, in Bali frangipani are a favorite flower for offerings. Nearly all Balinese make frangipani flowers their identity as Balinese Read more “Frangipani : The Flower Identity of Bali”

Melasti : Balinese Hindu Purification Ceremony

Bali is a home for ceremonies and of the most important is Melasti. This is a ceremony held a few days before Nyepi the silent day in Bali Maybe this is a kind of eye-catching ceremony because during Melasti you will see Banjar (village communities) walking along the shoreline with beautiful, bright and colorful offerings going to the beach, river or holy spring. Read more “Melasti : Balinese Hindu Purification Ceremony”