Spring 2021 - CA 443 D100

Gamelan III (3)

Class Number: 8072

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    CA (or FPA) 343.



Continuation of CA (or FPA) 343 with emphasis on the technique of the elaborating instruments of the gamelan ensemble. Students with credit for FPA 443 may not take this course for further credit.


Gamelan is one of the Indonesian traditional orchestra consisting mainly of gongs and other bronze percussion instruments, drums, strings, and vocals. It is one of the world`s most sophisticated orchestral traditions, yet it is music which includes varying levels of difficulty, and thus the simpler pieces in the repertoire can be approached without training in advanced instrumental, theoretical and practical techniques. An understanding of basic level of music—especially in terms of the fundamental rhythmic skills—would be useful.

Attendance is required at all classes, and out of class practice/performance may be necessary. 


By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply principles of intermediate level II of gamelan music, both theoretical and practical.
  • assess, evaluate, and reflect on a performance and teamwork.
  • explore, create, and/or compose gamelan music using percussion instrument in creative way.


  • Attendance and class participation (concentration, preparedness, skill based on the student performance achievement 50%
  • Final performance/presentation 20%
  • Submission of portfolios/journals - include a mid term/short reflection on the course and presentation 30%


Grades are determined mainly by the instructor`s observation of in-class work during the entire semester, and are based on the seriousness of the student`s practice and performance level achieved such as:

  • Commitment and effort (class participations & exercises in consultation with TA/instructor).
  • The ability to put principles into practice (option to create a music composition for virtual final performance, make a power point for class presentation, or summarize/analyze articles/videos related to gamelan, etc.).
  • The quality of musical skill/critical thinking/creative achievement throughout the course.




The learning process in this course requires diligence and discipline. Students are expected to actively participate in class so please come prepared. Any absences will result in a lowered participation mark. Make-up exams will not be standard procedure of this course except in instances of documented illness, in which case prior notification and physicians explanation are both required.



There is plenty to Google, of course. Feel free, but be skeptical of things that seem too tourist-oriented or commercial. I recommended joining the international gamelan listserv for the sake of the periodic interesting discussion thread. There are about 600 subscribers worldwide. Send an Email to: GAMELAN@LISTSERV.DARTMOUTH.EDU with the message SUBSCRIBE GAMELAN.

The following links are valuable for gamelan sources:


  1. Sorrell, Neil. A Guide to the Gamelan. London: Faber and Faber, 1990 (Online).
  2. Brinner, Benjamin Elon. Music in Java: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, c2008.
  3. Sumarsam. Gamelan and the West. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2013.
  4. Tenzer, Michael. Balinese Music. Singapore: Periplus Eds. (HK) Ltd, 1998.

Diamond, Jody. (1992). “Making Choices: American Gamelan in Composition and Education (from the Java Jive to “Eine Kleine Gamelan Music”)” in Foley, Kathy. ed. (1992). Essay on Southeast Asian Performing Arts: Local Manifestations and Cross-Cultural Implications. California: Centers for South and Southeast Asia Studies, University of California at Berkeley. P. 117-139. <https://canvas.sfu.ca/courses/60832/files?preview=15046948>

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).