Musical Instrument Classification:
Old Malay world consist of countries of
Malaysia, parts of Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the
Philippines. Within these region, one can find similarities in
history, type, function, structure and performances of musical
Malay musical Instruments have a close
relations with its origin (player's background it originated
from) and its culture. Other than that, these instruments and
its music pieces are deeply influenced and have high degree of
assimilation with foreign elements from Asia (India), Middle
East and Europe (Britain and Portugal).
Classification of Malay musical
instruments are defined by functionality or the form of
performances (show) that the instruments represent. Usually,
these instruments are played to accompany other forms of art
such as singing, theatre, and Malay religious and customs
occasions, either by ensembles (with large group of similar
instruments or with diversity) or solo.
In general, this project discuss the
classification of the instruments by the way it is played
(ensemble or solo) and by the way that the sound is produced
according to the method by Erich von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs (1914).
The method can be use to classify any form of instruments and
have been a popular method used by musicologist. It divides
instrument into four major groups which are Aerophones,
Idiophones, Chordophones and Membranophones.
The diversities of the Malay's musical
instruments reflects the wealth of the heritage and the
uniqueness of the identity of the biggest ethnic in Malaysia. By
understanding the musical instruments, enables one to understand
briefly the socio-culture and the ways of the Malays, and
enhance good interactions with other ethnics.
Zahrati Ibrahim (A94202)
Department of Electric, electronic and systems
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia