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Know Our Music Rebab

VOI KNOW OUR MUSIC, 29-09-2015

Welcome to KNOW OUR MUSIC, a weekly segment introducing you to Indonesian traditional music and musical instrument from across Indonesia. This week we’ll invite you to visit West Sumatra to know more about its traditional musical instrument, rebab. 

Rebab is a traditional fiddle in Minangkabau, West Sumatra province. Rebab performance is called barabab meaning telling a story accompanied by song and the sound of rebab. Rebab performance is usually played in a room and watched by many people. Sometimes, it is played in a ceremony held at a house. There are 3 types of rebab in Minangkabau. There is Rebab Darek. Rebab darek instrument consists of 3 parts. First is the body which functions as resonance room made from jackfruit wood and covered by goat or cow skin. Second is the neck made from bamboo. Usually it is made of old bamboo so as not easily broken. Third is the head part which has gun sight made of carved wood.  Two ropes of gun sight tools are installed on the left and right of the rebab head. Two strings are set to make the sound. Rebab’s bow is made from wood and horsetail or nylon. The function of rebab darek is to accompnay dendang or song. Rebab darek performance is related with traditional ceremony such as wedding ceremony and social events.  

There is another rebab in Pariaman, Padang Pariaman regency, West Sumatra.  This rebab has the same shape like Rebab Darek, but it is made from different material. The body of rebab Pariaman is made from coconut shell, rebab stalk is made of bamboo and has 3 strings, and its bow is made from rattan, while its rope is from horsetail. The function of rebab Pariaman is to accompany songs, especially kaba song. Rebab Pariaman is also performed in various events and to enliven anak nagari such as wedding ceremony, charity night etc. There is also Rebab Pesisir. The shape of this rebab is like a violin. Its body is made from jackfruit wood and has 4 strings. Two strings are made from rope and two others are from violin’s strings.  The function of this rebab is like rebab darek and rebab Pariaman. Rebab pesisir performance is accompanied by indang, a traditional instrument from West Sumatra.



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