Sonja Lynn Downing's Gamelan Girls: Gender, Childhood, and Politics in Balinese Music Ensembles is an important book and a welcome contribution to child-focused ethnomusicological research. It examines how in recent years—by participating in single-gender ensembles, as well as those comprising male and female participants—Balinese girls and women contest deep-rooted notions that gamelan performance is primarily an activity associated with boys and men. By challenging tradition, girls and women also participate actively in debates about gender, childhood, and politics. Locally, this has led to shifts in how the Balinese perceive traditional gender roles, as well as how children learn about gendered forms of behavior via the performing arts. Furthermore, such changes contribute to and are influenced by broader discussions of female emancipation and cultural preservation in Indonesia. The author incorporates scholarship from ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, and music education to support and develop these arguments. Ultimately, the reader learns that...

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