Jazz Big Band
Garapan is a Javanese word meaning "the working out of the music." In the Javanese gamelan tradition, musical compositions are mere skeletons of ideas that have a flexible structure. This allows the performers to "interpret" their own parts using techniques similar to what Western musicians think of as improvisation. The Javanese gamelan tradition is surprisingly similar to the Western jazz tradition in that jazz musicians read from a lead sheet and "work out" their own parts. However, the big difference between the two is that while a jazz combo is usually only a handful of people improvising, a typical Javanese gamelan ensemble will have at least twenty performers improvising. This composition is written like a lead sheet for big band. The result is a flexible structure that gives the performers (especially the section leaders) room to make decisions about when to enter and how to interpret certain figures.
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