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Making It Up TogetherThe Art of Collective Improvisation in Balinese Music and Beyond$
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Leslie A. Tilley

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226661131

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226667744.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Analyzing Improvisations on a Known Model

Analyzing Improvisations on a Known Model

The Freedom of Reyong Norot

(p.89) Chapter Three Analyzing Improvisations on a Known Model
Making It Up Together

Leslie A. Tilley

University of Chicago Press

The second of two chapters in a case study on the musical analysis of collective improvisation, this chapter examines reyong norot, a collectively improvised practice for the Balinese gamelan gong kebyar’s four-person melodic gong chime reyong. Building on the model and knowledge base proposed in the previous chapter (Ch. 2), this chapter considers the many ways that reyong musicians diverge from their models in improvised performance. Short improvised patterns as well as longer group passages are closely analyzed in the context of the four improvisational processes theorized in Chapter 1: interpretation, embellishment, recombination, and expansion. The analyses borrow concepts from related Balinese techniques, draw upon idioms and idiosyncrasies of individual pieces and performers, and are framed in local oral music theories on stasis and motion (ngubeng and majalan), feeling (rasa), “greatness” (wayah), and other concepts gleaned through field research. Each new analysis suggests ways that the four broad conceptual categories of improvisatory process can be nuanced and expanded to suit the specific conceptual space of reyong norot, revealing the flexibility of the concepts while not shying away from their limits. Throughout, comparisons to diverse practices across the globe point to the widespread applicability of the proposed analytical framework.

Keywords:   reyong norot, reyong, norot, improvisation, collective improvisation, musical analysis, interpretation, embellishment, recombination, expansion

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