2017-06-20T02:36:58Z (GMT) by
Audio 6.2: Audio Example 2 in Chapter 6 of book: Margaret Kartomi, ‘Musical Journeys in Sumatra’, Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. During colonial times, the Indragiri sultanate would hold palace celebrations that included music, dancing and feasting. Representatives of the local Malay people and of the “Suku Mamak” (‘Mamak ethnic group’) were among the guests present on such occasions. The “Suku Mamak” (also known as “Talang Mamak” or forest-dwelling people) have lived in the region since pre-Islamic times and hold both indigenous religious and Muslim beliefs. At palace celebrations, artists from the “Talang Mamak” villages would perform music and dance just outside the palace. Nowadays weddings are the usual context for their performances. In this excerpt, recorded in November 1984, a “Talang Mamak” musician, Bp Aslin, is playing the “obab”, which is a bowed string instrument with a coconut-shell body covered in fish skin. The performance style features double stopping and use of free metre and rhythm. Occasionally the player plucks the strings, thus interrupting his bowed melody line of a narrow pitch range that generally oscillates between two tones. This style is also suitable for the trance dance ceremonies that the “obab” often accompanies. Duration: 1 min. 53 sec. Copyright 1984. Margaret J. Kartomi.