Music and dance go to war in Java

Merle Ricklefs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The kingdoms of pre-colonial Java were martial states, as well as supporters of a wide range of cultural activities. Artistic performances and war were intertwined. Martial skills and bloody accounts of battle are prominent in Javanese literature and the wayang theatre. Music and dance also played crucial roles in the real world of Javanese warfare. They were used in training: what Europeans called drill, Javanese called dance. And they were deployed on campaign and in battle itself. This short note examines 18th-century sources to shed light on how music and dance went to war in Java.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-151
    Issue number99
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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