Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
Here, a Javanese gamelan (court orchestra) performs at a traditional wedding ceremony in Indonesia. A gamelan relies on intricate music played on expensive, exquisite bronze instruments to convey their community's values, ideals, and self-image. What the gamelan performs depends on context. In a private, intimate court setting, the gamelan displays the elegance and largesse of its patrons.... Read More »
This manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva depicts the deity holding a small drum, which symbolizes the audible space that fills the universe, the sound of creative energy. Here, rhythm, drum, and music are manifestations of fundamental Hindu beliefs. At concerts of Indian music, audiences listen to drummers raptly and follow their complex rhythms in cycles.... Read More »
Huun-Huur-Tu is a musical group from Tuva, which is situated along the Mongolia-Russia border, that is known for their traditional throat singing. Throat singing is when performers sing both a note and its overtones simultaneously, resulting in a rich and complex timbre, or the sound quality and texture of instruments and voices performing the music.... Read More »
Music and dramatized storytelling are the tools of memory in places like the Indonesian island of Java. Here, a traditional Wayang, or Javanese, performance depicts Hindu epics or popular cultural legends through the use of leather puppets whose shadow is cast upon a thin fabric. Traditionally, the performance is backed by a Gamelan orchestra and usually lasts all night.... Read More »
Although it is important to take into account an artist's intentions and hopes for new music, it is equally important to realize that music is often appropriated - meaning that it is used by others in ways that the artist did not intend. Take for example Richard Wagner's famous musical drama The Valkyrie.... Read More »