At First, I Tried To Focus On My Own Rhythm As I Did While

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At first, I tried to focus on my own rhythm as I did while playing the gyil. I quickly discovered that this was doomed to failure; I could not keep time with the multitude of pulsing beats around me. I then tried putting the rhythm in my hands only, and backing my focus up to encompass the entire ensemble. The concept of polyrhythm as intertwined parts creating a complex whole finally clicked. My perception of the astsiagbekor suddenly shifted from individual parts surrounded by unrelated noise to an incredibly complex whole that needs every part to be complete. With this new insight, I found my place in the polyrhythm and heard the unique form of unity that society strives to achieve. Third, the organization of pitch. First and …show more content…

Standardization of pitch or lack thereof strongly influences a cultures system of notation. It must be mentioned that innumerable cultures do not notate their music, it is passed on in person and by memory. Western music uses the beginning of the Latin alphabet to name pitches. These pitches are also assigned places on a staff of lines and spaces as indicated by a clef. I find this system the most functional because it is a visual representation of pitch, rhythm, intervals, relativity, and how multiple parts line up. Indonesian gamelan uses a cipher notation. Each gamelan ensemble has its own unique tuning, so the pitched sounds of each instrument are assigned corresponding numbers. Cipher notation indicates pitch with numbers and rhythm with their spacing. I thought that this would be difficult to get used to. In reality, it was actually simple and easy to understand. This system places emphasis on the importance of listening to the ensemble rather than focusing only on one’s individual part of the score because the other instruments indicate when and what to play. I enjoyed my experience with gamelan, the instruments are fun to play, the music is pleasant to hear, and the ensemble emphasizes a form of unity that can only be found in making music together. Fourth, forms of music structure. A structure common in various forms around the world is call and response. The idea of interaction among

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