South Sumatra is not only popular with the culinary food with their specific Pempek Palembang, but also the richest culture there. Since the region consists of so many tribes makes their cultures have a different type from other Indonesian regions, include their traditional musical instrument.
Speaking of South Sumatran traditional musical instruments, people believe that the instruments that exist there were brought by some seller from Melayunese, Arabian, and Persian. That makes sense if their traditional musical instrument is closer to the Islamic vibe such as the common facts of Sumatra island.
Just like other regions in Sumatra island, South Sumatranese are persistent preserve their traditional musical instruments. Let’s see some of them below!
Tenun is one of the South Sumatran traditional musical instruments made from the chosen wood. It is craved by the unique South Sumatran ornaments which come with the triangle space in the middle. These triangle part will give a sound once you punch it properly.
Tenun used to make for women to weave the clothes, but as time goes by people made it as a musical instrument. Instead, they are using complex weaves to make better clothes. You can find these instruments in some local events and festivals such as the traditional dances from South Sumatra.
Genggong is a kind of traditional musical instrument that comes from South Sumatra. It is made of metal or chooses wood with the hardest type of wood. The sound of this instrument is similar to the harmonica but has a higher voice.
Genggong used to play by the farmer in the rice field to make the pest away from their harvest tree. They also used to play this instrument to kill their time while watching their harvest.
Gambus is a kind of traditional musical instrument that comes from South Sumatra, which is played just like how you play the guitar. It has about six strings attached over the solid wood.
Even though it is similar to the guitar, Gambus has a higher melody with some combination rhythm that the guitar doesn’t have. Commonly, South Sumatran plays this instrument for specific religious music.
There are even some popular Gambus orchestra from Palembang that call with the Gambus Al Muhibbien and Gambus Assyabab group.
4. Kenong Basemah
Kenong Basemah is a kind of traditional musical instrument from South Sumatra which similar to the little Gong in most Javanese Gong. It is made from metal or bronze material with gold color on the surface.
Kenong Basemah plays by punch it at the middle of the surface which has a round shape of metal. There is a specific hammer to punch it which is also made of metal material. That is why the sound also similar to other Gong in Indonesia.
You can find the Kenong Basemah in most of the Basemah tribe’s important events, custom culture in South Sumatra, or specific rituals.
Marawis is one of the South Sumatran traditional musical instruments made by the good wood covered by the buffalo’s or cow’s leather. It is similar to the tambourine, but it should be tied properly so that the voice comes differently.
Marawis usually plays on some religious songs in South Sumatra since about the Samudra Pasai sultanate along time ago. This instrument is so popular for Islamic songs not only in Sumatra but other regions in Indonesia. You can find it when the Islamic festival happens or other religious Islamic events in South Sumatra.
Kolintang is a kind South Sumatran traditional musical instrument that comes from the Komering tribe. It is made of metal that is arranged neatly and closer from one to the other. It should be punch with a specific hammer properly so that it will sound rhythmical.
Kolintang commonly plays on some important events such as the wedding party, custom culture festivals, or welcoming guest party. You can find it both at the local or government events.
Kecapi is one of the South Sumatran traditional musical instrument that should be played by picking up the string. It is made from solid wood and some metal wires for the strings. It will make a unique sound that closer to Chinese culture as part of the Indonesian tribes that living there.
Kecapi usually plays for some specific events such as the custom culture ceremony in South Sumatra. People love the sound so much which nowadays the Kecapi player is rare in amount.
Burdah is a kind of South Sumatran traditional musical instrument that comes from the Ogan Komering Ulu tribe. This instrument is so popular which makes most of the music song followed by it. Not only for some species of Islamic music, but Burdah also plays for some common music.
Burdah looks similar to the Marawis but has a different wood material. It has to be made of jackfruit wood which has a harder texture and is covered by the cow’s leather. It should be played by punch it at the middle part of the leather with a specific hammer.
Terbangan is one of the South Sumatran traditional musical instrument that should be played by a punch at the middle part of it. Terbangan looks similar to the tambourine that every South Sumatran calls the Rebana for some religious music.
Terbangan is made from the chosen wood and covered by cow’s leather. Commonly, people use more than one Terbangan so that it will sound rhythmically perfect to hear. You can find these instruments in most of the important events such as for celebrating a wedding, newborn, and many more.
So, there are some glances about the South Sumatran traditional musical instrument that you should know. Most of are still exist until now since it has the most influence on the religious music in South Sumatra.