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Open Access 9. Encounters in the Context of Inspiring Sundanese Music and Problematic Theories

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9. Encounters in the Context of Inspiring Sundanese Music and Problematic Theories

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Chapter Summary

In the 1920s, the Dutch musicologist Jaap Kunst and the Sundanese music teacher and scholar Machjar Kusumadinata started their cooperation in developing music theory for West Java. This chapter discusses elements of their theories and shows how the present generation of music scholars in Bandung is dealing with the shortcomings of these theories. The author describes how his encounters with Uking Sukri inspired the playing of Cianjuran music in the Netherlands. In particular, the author explains the combination of the ensemble consisting of zithers and bamboo flute with a Western piano, because this clearly shows that the theoretical models of Kusumandinata deviate from empirical evidence. Musical experiments with Western instruments in Sundanese, and more generally Indonesian, music have been documented since the beginning of the twentieth century. One such experiment took place in 1989-1990 when Uking Sukri collaborated with the jazz pianist Bubi Chen in playing kacapi-suling.

Keywords: Bandung scholars; Jaap Kunst; kacapi-suling; Machjar Kusumadinata; Sundanese music; Uking Sukri

10.1163/9789004258594_010
/content/books/b9789004258594_010
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