As the semester winds down at Yale University, students have finished their classes and have embarked on Reading Week, a time to study for final exams, write papers and projects, and wrap up the semester. Reading Week is also a perfect time for Study Breaks and other activities, given the end of regularly scheduled classes and sections.
During Fall 2009 Reading Week at Yale, the Music Department, Council of Southeast Asia Studies and Calhoun College offered a cultural twist to traditional Reading Week Study Break fare, with a concert by the Gamelan Suprabanggo, Yale's very own Javanese Gamelan orchestra. The concert also gave students in the class Music 346, "Javanese Gamelan Performance, Theory, History, Future," an opportunity to showcase their skills as taught by Sarah Weiss, Assistant Professor in the Music Department and Founding Director of the Gamelan Suprabanggo.
Dr. Weiss led the concert, providing some background to the audience, who filled up the newly renovated black-box Cabaret space in the basement of Calhoun College. The orchestra presented four pieces, in a combination of the traditional Gamelan scales of pelog and slendro. The pelog and slendro scales share the same 6th tone, allowing for transition from one scale to the other within a single piece of music, as nicely demonstrated by the Suprabanggo during their final piece of the evening. As noted in the program, several of the pieces presented are often combined with Indonesian dance performances, as part of the classical Javanese canon of Indonesian arts and culture.
The Gamelan Suprabanggo resumes rehearsals in the spring semester, with no previous Gamelan performance experience required. For more information contact Sarah Weiss at email@example.com.
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