Rantak Kudo

Audio 3.2: Audio Example 2 in Chapter 3 of book: Margaret Kartomi, ‘Musical Journeys in Sumatra’, Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. “Rantak Kudo” is a lament song-dance that was originally accompanied by the performers’ rhythmic foot-stamping on the loosely strung floor boards of traditional houses, or, if performed on the ground or a hard floor, their drum-rhythm equivalents. “Rantak” in the Minangkabau language means “dancing in time to a drum rhythm” and “kudo” means “horse.” As some performers danced until they entered a state of trance, they were customarily overseen by a shaman (“dukun”), whose mystical power (“kasakten”) was symbolized by his head-dress, made of horse-skin. The song excerpt presented here, recorded in January 1986, accompanies a “rantak kudo “ dancer portraying a bereaved parent who stamps out his/her grief felt at the death of a baby. The singer, Bp Ali Zahiruddin, is accompanied by a 2-headed drum (“gandang”) playing a repeated rhythmic motive, and a bowed lute (“rabab”) which follows the contour of the vocal line but with melismatic embellishment as well as providing a drone. Duration: 3 min. 32 sec. Copyright 1986. Margaret J. Kartomi.