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Myths & Realities – Balinese Music Development in the Light of Political Developments/ Influences in the 20th and 21st Century

1 September 2017


Bali has often been described as the “last paradise of the world“, mainly by Western authors. They have done it so intensively that finally even the Balinese haven adapted that imaginary picture of the island. It can be regarded as a quite unparalleled process all over the world. Even the geographic dimensions of the island do not let us suspect anything like that. 

However, that myth contrasts significantly with the political turmoil on the island since centuries and especially in the 20th century. Despite these diverse realities, Balinese music has experienced an equally unparalleled development during the 20th and 21st century. In this paper, I try to explain the classical dichotomy between myth and reality. 

But I also want to demonstrate how that situation could trigger – directly or indirectly – the creative process of contemporary composers from Bali.

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