MUSI 232a/b, Central Javanese Gamelan Ensemble.  Maho Ishiguro
An introduction to performing the orchestral music of central Java and to the theoretical, cultural and aesthetic discourses of the gamelan tradition.  Student form the nucleus of a gamelan ensemble that consists primarily of tuned gongs and metallophones.  The course culminates in a public performance by the ensemble at the end of the semester.  No previous musical experience required. This class also requires students to explore cultural background of gamelan tradition through reading articles and watching films and discussions in class. (permission of instructor required; meets during reading period)

MUSI 275a  Music Cultures of Asia Maho Ishiguro
This course explores various music cultures and practices from four regions of Asia—South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Central Asia. Music cultures of each region are examined through regionally specific concepts related to music and sound, such as rhythm and movements, religion and rituals, nature of notation and environmental soundscape, in addition to the general studies of traditional and contemporary practices of music making and related performing arts. Engaging with a range of theoretical perspectives and case studies of music-making cultures, the class reflects on the corporeal and sensory aspects of music performance and perception, the nature of learning and transmission, the intersection of music making practice with the environment and technologies, and the ways in which the music cultures are entangled with the physical, social, spiritual and political forces that shape our lives. This course includes lectures, active class discussion, hands-on practice of music making, and occasional performance demonstration by guest lecturers. This course aims to equip students with skills in informed listening of various musical languages, raise awareness of cultural processes constructed through music, and provide students with aural and analytical means to recognize and appreciate a wide variety of sonic repertoires and practices of music making cultures in Asia.

MUSI 233b, Cultures and Performing Arts of Central Java Maho Ishiguro
This course explores how music and theatre traditions engage with culture, history, and tradition of performing arts in central Java with a particular focus on the role of the gamelan ensemble. Students gain first-hand experience in Javanese Wayang theater, a traditional shadow puppet performance in which the gamelan serves as a musical accompanist. This course is designed to not only give performative and practical experience of central Javanese gamelan in the traditional style, but also presents opportunities for students to examine cultural and historical aspects of the shadow puppetry tradition and gamelan music in central Java. We focus specifically on 1) the musical language and structure of central Javanese gamelan music in the context of shadow puppetry performance, 2) the historical tradition and practice of shadow puppetry, and 3) livelihood of traditional performing arts in contemporary sociocultural and religious contexts. (Prerequisite: MUSI 232 or permission of the instructor)

Maho IshiguroInstructor: Maho Ishiguro, Lecturer, Department of Music

MA Wesleyan University
Ph.D, Ethnomusicology, Wesleyan University;
Awarded the Nadia and Nicholas Nahumck Fellowship for her research on the topics of “Acehnese dance and music forms, women’s practice of performing arts, and changing socioreligious climate in post-tsunami Aceh, from 2004 to today.” She has previously received Fulbright Hays DDRA fellowship and Asian Music Grant to conduct her research about Acehnese dance in Indonesia. Maho is also the director of Smith Central Javanese Gamelan Ensemble in Northampton, MA. 

CLASS SCHEDULE and LOCATION will be found at Yale’s Online Course Information Site (click here)>>



December 4, 2016
Javanese Wayang Shadow Puppet Play
Dhalang: Professor Sumarsam
Yale Gamelan Ensemble: students of Music 232 and guest artists
Synopsis, Cast, additional information >>

May 6, 2016 
Javanese Wayang Kulit
Dhalang: Prof. Sumarsam;
Yale Gamelan Ensemble: students of Music 232 and guest artists I.M. Harjito, Alec McLane, and Muryanto
Synopsis, Cast, additional information >>

December 2, 2015
Sumarsam, University Professor of Music, Wesleyan University; Instructor, MUSI 232, Yale Department of Music 
Featuring the Yale Gamelan Ensemble: students of Music 232

April 20-21, 2019
program information  >>