Gending Raré: Children's Songs and Games from Bali

 

In July of 2014, I travelled to Bali, Indonesia to collect songs and games of children from across the island. When people learned of my reasons for being there, I was immediately put in touch with Made Taro---a master story teller who has collected over 250 games from Bali. Made Taro is well-known throughout Bali for his after-school program and children's television show, Sanggar Kukuruyuk. Made Taro agreed to help me select various songs with games that were unique to Bali and would represent aspects of daily life for the Balinese people. Made Taro also arranged for me to film the children at his after-school program. Each song in this book has an accompanying video on this website that features the children of Sanggar Kukuruyuk pronouncing the lyrics, singing the songs, and performing the games, giving students around the world a glimpse of school life in Bali.

 

While in Bali, I spent the majority of my time living in a village named Banjar Wani in Kerambitan, which is part of Tabanan regency on the Western part of the island. I grew fond of the people of this community and spent many days and nights hanging around a group of young people who loved to play guitar and sing various pop songs from around the world. One night, while telling them stories of my project, the group erupted in improvised singing. The arrangements they created were captivating, and so I asked if they would be interested in recording them as part of the project. Thus, you will find a few of these arrangements embedded in the pages of this website. My reasons for sharing them are to show how folk traditions continually find ways of being reinvented and changed to fit new generations and musical styles.

 

Gending Raré provides a colorful and rich resource to families and school teachers in order to provide a glimse into the lovely culture found on this island on Bali. This website houses the media content that accompanies the physical book. As an ethnomusicologist and music educator I think it is important to let the people speak for themselves, so the resources on this site are designed to do just that. Enjoy!

 

- Brent C. Talbot, Ph.D.