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Malay Musical Instrument Classification:





B.Melayu version


 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 instruments.

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.

Prepared by:

Zahrati Ibrahim (A94202)

Department of Electric, electronic and systems

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia