Keeping traditional music alive
By Jude Toyat
To celebrate the uniqueness of Malaysian traditional music, the Teacher Education Institute (IPG) Tun Abdul Razak Campus from Kota Samarahan held ‘Gemersik Dendangan Asli’ on Feb 26 performed by Music Education students.
‘Gemersik Dendangan Asli’ saw Semester 5 students performing three segments for the night, including ‘Dikir Gemersik’, ‘Sound of Forest’, and ‘The Ding and Clang’. Their performance comes under the Muzik Malaysia part of their Music Education syllabus for evaluation by their lecturer Abdul Latif Poli.
“I was so impressed by the students’ performances. It proved that music trainees here are very committed when it comes to showcasing their talents. I hope that after this they will be able to teach their friends and the future generation all about traditional music,” said Abdul Latif.
‘Dikir Gemersik’ is a combination of rhythms and melodies of Malaysia’s traditional songs including the ‘Lenggang Kangkung’, ‘Dikir Puteri’ and ‘Wau Bulan’ that brought back feelings of nostalgia for Malaysia’s yesteryears.
Meanwhile, the ‘Sound of Forest’ was inspired by Borneo’s rainforest and is a culmination of the festive music of the Kadazandusun tribe and the serenity of traditional Kenyah sound. The traditional musical sensibilities of both communities was joined seamlessly into a beautiful and unique musical score.
Finally, ‘The Ding and Clang’ was derived from the combination of two Malaysian and Indonesian music ensembles: the caklempong and the gamelan.
According to head of the programme, Alva Samjun: “Today, traditional music seems to have been forgotten among the younger generation due to the increasing popularity of modern music in various genres. Through this event, we had the opportunity to increase our knowledge in traditional music and its instruments. We hope that we will then be able to bring our knowledge out and expose it to people from all walks of life so they can learn to appreciate it as well,” he said of the inaugural event which took them a month to prepare.”