90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Studying Global Music

Balinese gamelan musicians in Tabanan, Bali, 1977. (Photo: Michael Tenzer)

Long before Bach, Beethoven and Beyonce, humans were making remarkable music all over the world. It told stories, gave advice, captured cosmic visions. It communicated what perhaps simple words cannot.

My guests today – two top ethnomusicologists – have traveled the world to bring back the rich traditional music of pygmies in central Africa and gamelan and shadow play in Bali.

We explore the deep architecture and meaning of some remarkable traditional music, and we learn something about the work of the ethnomusicologist.

-Tom Ashbrook

**Note: This show was first broadcast Feb. 22, 2010.

Guests:

Michael Tenzer, ethnomusicologist at the University of British Columbia. He has studied the musical traditions of Bali, and he co-founded the San Francisco-based Balinese music ensemble Gamelan Sekar Jaya. He’s author of “Gamelan Gong Kebyar: The Art of Twentieth-Century Balinese Music.”

Simha Arom, ethnomusicologist and director emeritus of research at France’s National Center for Scientific Research. He’s best known for his recordings of the Aka pygmies and other Central African groups from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. He’s author of “African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments