Journal of Urban Culture Research


Kaori Okado

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In this present study, I examine the benefits of a Javanese Gamelan programconducted over two months at a juvenile prison in Central Java. The participantswere 40 teenage prisoners between 13 and 19. Many of them exhibited dramaticchanges in behavior, sociability, and self confidence during the course of thisgamelan program. I also compare this program with a similar one at a prison inEngland. Through this comparison, I explore the significance of using a traditionalperforming art, the Javanese Gamelan in a case where it is a local tradition andone where it is not. In present day Javanese society, due to the effects of globalization,the decline of traditional performing arts is a matter of concern. However, Idemonstrate that it is possible for this type of program to add new value to traditionalperforming arts and re-invigorate this traditional art while simultaneouslyempowering local society.



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