Talempong Saluang

VOI KNOW OUR MUSIC 09-06-2015 

A talempong is a small kettle gong which gives its name to an ensemble of four or five talempong as well as other gongs and drums. The term can refer to the instrument, the ensemble, or the genre of music. Talempong is a traditional music of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra. The talempong produce a static texture consisting of interlocking rhythms. The form of Talempong is similar to bonang, a Javanese traditional musical instrument. Although it has similar form, talempong produces a unique sound so that it is easily known as Minangkabau music.  Talempong has a radially symmetrical shape so that the sockets face downwards. While the bottom has a hollow side, and is smaller than the upper side which is closed. And in the middle, there is a section that stands out and is the source of the sound.  When played, this bulge is beaten with wooden sticks.  One set of talempong consists of several units of talempong with various tones. Talempong which has a fast tempo, is a regulator beat in various Minangkabau traditional dances which are known to be energetic.  

Saluang is a long flute. The shortest of size of saluang is around 40 centimeters, and the longest size is around 60 centimeters. The diameter of saluang is usually around 4 centimeters. Saluang is made from bamboo or talang wood. The uniqueness is Minangkabau people believe that the best material to make saluang is from bamboo and talang wood which is not intact. The saluang from those materials will produce good sound. Saluang only has 4 holes, so that it needs skill to blow it, in order to produce appropriate tone. To play saluang is by breathing simultaneously, so that the saluang player can play a musical instrument from the beginning to the end of the song without breaking (circular breathing). This technique is called manyisiahango (leaving breath) and can be trained in sustainable way. 

Do not forget to blow from the top of the saluang which has been sharpened, so it is comfortable and easy to adjust the position of the mouth with the tip position of saluang which is on the side of the lip. Moreover, the distinctiveness and uniqueness of this instrument are in different style of playing saluang. Every region in Minangkabau has its own way to play saluang. The legend saluang player is Idris Sutan Sati and Syamsimar. The two saluang players can play saluang by blowing and breathe together, so that they can play saluang from beginning of the song until the end of the song without break. Saluang is usually played in various events such as wedding ceremony, etc. 



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