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Know Our Music Kompang

KNOW OUR MUSIC, 06-10-2015

This week we’ll invite you to know about Kompang musical instrument from Riau Islands Province.  Riau Islands or Kepulauan Riau is a province in Indonesia comprising the principal group of Riau Archipelago, together with other island groups to the south, east and northeast. In Indonesia, Riau Islands and Riau Archipelago are synonymous and are distinguished by the word for province, "Provinsi". In this province, you can find a traditional musical instrument named Kompang. Kompang is a well-known traditional musical instrument among the Malay society. It is categorized as gendang (small drum) which one of its material products is parchment. This musical instrument is believed to originally come from Arab and is estimated to have been brought by the Muslim Indian traders to the Malay regions in the era of the Malacca Sultanate and pleasurably accepted by the Malay ethnic to be used in various Malay traditional celebrations. Kompang is a musical instrument with a circular membrane made from goat skin and classified as membranophone. 

Kompang is persistently played in one group in which all players are sitting, standing, or walking. If it is performed in Barzanji or the recitation of praise about the biography of Prophet Muhammad, Kompang players sit cross-legged or sit on the chairs. Yet, if it is showed at a wedding reception or in a welcoming guest party, the kompang players walk behind the bride and groom or behind the important guests. Kompang is played by using both hands, left and right. One hand holds the kompang and another beats it continuously. There are three rentak or stamps in the kompang performance, namely rentak biasa, rentak kencet, and rentak sepulih. Rentak biasa is the most stamps played during the performance while rentak kencet is the stamp that occurs in the middle of beating the kompang until the sounds suddenly stop, and rentak sepulih is played to reverse back to the stamp of the first song.

Listener, one group of kompang usually is divided into three small groups with their own specific tasks. The first group acts as “pembolong” that beats kompang with a specific sound harmoniously. Pembolong’s beating is also known as a basic beating. The second group acts as “peningkah” or the master who control the whole music condense and tempo during the performance. And the last group acts as “Peyilang” that completes the rentak or stamps in the whole patterns of kompang sounds.




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