Getting to Know the Kind of Music in Bali

Bali, Indonesia is one of the top most visited islands in the world. No wonder how its touristy spots, scenic view and outlandish place caught the world’s attention. Truly, Bali is a place one can’t afford to not visit.

Apart from the fact that Bali is a place for beautiful spots, beaches, and photo-worthy views, it is also a place that boasts their culture, people and even their music. Today, before you explore the beautiful Bali, let us first get to know the kind of music the island has. 

The Balinese Music

Bali enchants with its dramatic dances and colorful ceremonies, its arts, and crafts, to its luxurious beach resorts and exciting nightlife. And everywhere, you will find intricately carved temples. The pop culture of the place is indeed still alive Bali!

Facts About The Balinese Music

Balinese music is rich in melody and texture and is often played outside or in open temples or pavilions. Music, dance and drama are all closely interrelated. Music and dance were once regarded as the lowest of Bali’s arts. Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall were married in a Hindu ceremony on Bali in 1990. Big raves are sometimes held in Bali.

Balinese music is based around an instrument known as the Gamelan. Gamelan or Gong, a traditional musical instrument from Bali, is such a central part of Balinese music that the whole ‘orchestra’ is also referred to as a gamelan. Gamelan music is almost completely percussion.

Unlike the seven-note scale used in traditional Western music, gamelan uses a pentatonic, or five-note, scale to create several overlapping harmonies. Describing Balinese gamelan music John Briley wrote in the Washington Post:

 “A melodic percussive beat resembling a mix of Andean flute music and a Grateful Dead drum solo rises from the open-air temple…Some villagers…play drums, gongs and xylophones, metallophones and other percussion instruments.” — John Briley

Traditional Balinese songs are called Tembang. Tembang is one of the oldest arts in Bali and has been a strong part of Balinese culture. 

Final Thoughts

Indeed, Bali is not just a place we go to hang out, get a good grip on nightlife, see the amazing sceneries, or meet the most amazing and hospitable people. But it is also a place where music is deeply appreciated.

All the more reason to visit Bali!