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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Arsenio Nicolas. Email: sennicolas gmail. Courtesy of the British Library. Here I present and discuss various lists of musical terms mined from a pool of Classical Malay and Javanese sources, as well as European and Malay-Indonesian dictionaries.

Introduction he history of musical exchanges in the hai-Malay Peninsula may date back to a prehistorical period when Neolithic communities started to inhabit the coastal, inland as well as cave and mountain regions. Subsequent musical developments starting from the mid-irst millennium BCE point to long-term exchanges among the communities in the peninsula, continuing to the present.

During this period of transition from a Hindu-Buddhist culture to an Islamic culture among the Malays, Indic predominantly Sanskrit , Middle Eastern, and Malay musical terms were referred to in various texts and in various contexts. Of particular interest is the entry of Sanskrit musical terms in the literary lexicon, which raises two questions—one, their sources and origins, and two, whether these musical instruments with Sanskrit names were indeed part of the musical heritage of the Malay courts and society during this period.

By the 13th century, there were several types of music on the hai-Malay peninsula. A recent study by David Bulbeck , however, has questioned this.

A comprehensive study of Malay musical forms outside the hai-Malay Peninsula has yet to be undertaken.

In the following section, four tables of musical terms are presented, using the chronological data provided by the website of the Malay Concordance Project MCP. Notwithstanding these uncertainties, the following order has been adopted for the texts available in the MCP.

Only 10 relevant prose works, dating from the late 14th century to the 17th century are cited here from the indexed titles, which include prose works, verse texts, an old dictionary and other publications in the Malay language. Verse texts are not included in this study. Given the uncertainties of dating and chronology, the following groupings of texts may reveal some signiicant data. In particular, it may be possible to trace the entry of a particular musical term into a particular period in the music history of Malay literary discourse.

Nine of these texts are part of the study I published in Rales No. Shellabear Sejarah Melayu? Balai Pustaka Musical References in Malay Literary Texts A musical reference is a literary device to record a musical event that is part of the narrative during a particular episode in the story of a hikayat narrative text , sejarah historical text and other prose, as well as verse forms in Malay classical literature.

Musical references tend to be lengthy, containing pertinent musical data, i. A musical imagery, mostly short, is a literary technique used to enhance the narrative low, the textual density and literary appeal of a prose or verse form.

It is not an actual event or occurrence in the narrative itself. Some of these musical imageries are repetitive, incomplete in musical data, and are more lyrical in texture. In some works, one may detect the repetitive references to one particular musical term, like bunyi-bunyian musical instruments , which may refer to any of the ensembles or speciic musical instruments mentioned previously.

It should be noted that any occurrence of a musical term in a manuscript could mean several things. First, the musical term had been known for a period of time in musical and literary circles, or at least in elite courtly culture. Second, it may also mean that the term was just newly introduced into the literary language, and thus was meant to make it known to a wider audience or reading circle. A particular narrative may have existed simultaneously as a written text and as an oral form, such as with the wayang puppet theater tradition in Java.

For example, the wayang wong human wayang performed in the court of Jogyakarta was based on an extant text from the library of the palace Soedarsono Furthermore, there is a separate corpus of texts called pakem used in the performance of wayang kulit shadow or leather puppet theater in the courts that is diferent from the performance traditions of wayang in villages.

However, when both oral and written forms existed at the same time, the complexity of performance and realisation is even more pronounced. Early on from the late 14th century, Malay literary writers have made use of musical references and musical imagery as illustrations of a musical life in that period.

Below here is a description of the texts. Madah16 6. Shair17 6, , See also OJED , amidu, amidu-midu, awidwa- widwan, pawidu, pawidwan.

For a discussion of the vidu performer in premodern Java, see Acri , A smart saying or apposite quotation Wilkinson : Bangsi is not commonly found in West Malaysia today. Wilkinson refers to the four-stringed lute found in Borneo, and is called sapeq, sampeq, and also kudyapi in Mindanao and Palawan, Philippines see Nicolas A native iddle or viol. Wilkinson ; rebab: two-stringed bowed lute Kunst And the other three terms, gendang, gong, serunai, are mentioned as individual instruments and not a part of the nobat ensemble.

In the Hikayat Raja Pasai, the term gong is referred to as an ensemble with gendang accompanying dances called joget, together with the classical Javanese theatrical forms—wayang wong, wayang kulit,48 topeng,49 and joget tandak. Nicolas] 51 he Hikayat Raja Pasai, or Chronicles of Pasai, a little Malay state annexed by Aceh in , are interesting for two reasons.

Only two manuscripts of this text are extant today—the Rales manuscript dated Hill , kept today at the Royal Asiatic Society in London, and an earlier manuscript in the British Library Or.

In the preface to the edition published in , Hill recounts that there is only one extant manuscript of the Hikayat Raja Pasai. A second manuscript dated on the front colophon had been discovered and remains unedited Kratz In the description of this second manuscript, Kratz discusses the processes of copying from one source that had been copied from several others originating from diferent places.

In this case, the Semarang central Java manuscript was copied from an unknown source in Makassar Sulawesi. What this second manuscript provides is a picture of readership of Malay texts in 18th century Makassar and Mataram Java ibid.

In the opening page, the writer also exhorts the readers to read the hikayat with clean hands, or more appropriately, pure thoughts membaca dengan suci tangan; suci: Melayu, whose author paraphrased the Chronicles of Pasai, quoted them and imitated their contents. One can surmise that the literary and musical imagination of the 18th century audience in Macassar and Mataram Central Java, of Javanese and Chinese alike, can be stimulated with tales from the 14th century Majapahit kingdom in East Java, and Samudra Pasai in Sumatra.

It is signiicant that of the nineteen musical terms that can be found in this text, eight terms, viz. Furthermore, the terms beksan and joget are, respectively, high Javanese and low Javanese terms for dance. Joget is also known in Balinese as joged, a village form of dance performed by young women for entertainment in temple feasts McPhee ; Bandem and de Boer What is signiicant to note is that the terms bedaya also spelled as bedoyo, bedhaya, bedhoyo —a court dance for nine female dancers in the kraton palaces of Surakarta and Jogyakarta, and wayang wong dance-drama were then only performed inside these palaces in Java.

Given that these musical terms found in Hikayat Raja Pasai are Javanese in origin, such borrowings may have occurred in the following manner. By , these terms were already current in the courts of central Java, to which the regent of Demak was a subject Sutherland — In , Mataram was divided between Surakarta and Yogyakarta. In two other texts, the term nobat is not mentioned but the instruments used for nobat, viz.

Text Edition Windstedt Ahmad ms. Two Malay literary texts, the Hikayat Patani early 16th—17th century and Adat Aceh 17th century are discussed in chapters four and ive respectively, in relation to its history from the early period, through the British colonial period and contemporary times. Chapter three provides an extensive description of its music and musical instruments. OJ: tabeh. Beating, striking, especially a musical instrument, the stick or the hammer for this.

Wilkinson ; ; rindu. Written in but dealt with events from ca. In the survey of four of these texts below, the musical references in one particular passage signiicantly difer from each other. It was written in the late 17th century that relected the events in the Sultanate in Johore during that period Parnickel A type of metallophone in the Principalities, i. Another type of xylophone made of bamboo or wooden bars, today called calung or gambang, is also illustrated there, see ibid.

Wilkinson deines berjentera in several ways, one of which is to rotate or to move in waves of light Wilkinson Soedarsono — traces the history of the term as follows.

It was created during the reign of Sultan Hamengkubowono I r. Of these 10 musical and dance terms, joget and wayang kulit are known among the Malays in west Malaysia. Swettenham provided the irst account of this dance in an article he published in , A Malay Nautch, but did not provide any much detail including the name of the dance, and names of musical instruments Swettenham In a later publication, Swettenham wrote a very detailed description of the dance, the musical instruments of the ensemble, the names of melodies played by the ensemble, description of the costumes of the four dancers and the ensuing trance part in the latter part of the performance near day break Swettenham — It is interesting to note that what one inds in the Malay version is a joget, not a bedaya or a beksan, as Joget Melayu is a court dance.

Nasaruddin —81 describes the trance part as it was still performed in s in the court of Terengganu. In Bali, the term joged takes on a diferent meaning, as most of the extant joged dances are accompanied by bamboo musical ensembles McPhee ; Nicolas ; Bandem and deBoer In Malay, the term joget is irst known in connection with the music ensemble accompanying the dance—Joget Gamelan.

Until , Joget Gamelan was performed at the court in Lingga, when until , the Sultan abdicated the throne under Dutch pressure. Likewise, in , ater the death of Sultan Ahmad, the Pahang court did not continue the new tradition. It was his daughter, Tengku Mariam, who revived the dance. She married Tengku Sulaiman, the second son of Tengku Zainal Abidin of the court of Trengganu, where it was performed ater the acquisition of a new gamelan.

Today, it is called Gamelan Terengganu Nicolas — All the dancers are female, and the main hall inside the palace is set with carpets. She provided the following information on the instrumentation of the two gamelan ensembles: the Gamelan at the Pekan Museum in Pahang, and the Gamelan Pahang Nicolas Gambang: wooden xylophone. Drum: played by an elderly woman with two sticks. Four Musical Traditions in Malay Classical Texts he study of musical references and musical imageries in Malay classical texts highlighted four general sources: 1 Indic or Sanskrit derived musical terms; 2 musical terms from the Middle East, exempliied by the term nobat; 3 Javanese musical terms as a product of a long-term contact between Majapahit, Samudra-Pasai and Melaka exempliied by the term gong; and 4 musical terms shared with the Orang Asli original or aboriginal people in Malaysia.


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Haji Salleh Muhammad. In: Archipel , volume 42, Pada tahun Hijrah, bersamaan Masehi, iaitu tiga puluh dua tahun setelah Raffles dan Farquhar mendapat tanah di Pulau Singapura untuk mem- bina pelabuhan, seorang penyalin Melayu telah menyalin kembali tiga buah syair yang menyentuh masalah orang-orang Melayu yang sedang menyesuai- kan diri kepada pendudukan Inggeris, kedatangan pekerja-pekerja Cina dan India dan juga pentadbiran dan cara hidup kota yang baru. Dua buah syair pertamanya dikarang oleh Tuan Simi S. Karya-karya ini telah disalin kembali di Teluk Kurau. Syair-syair ini ialah khazanah suatu genre puisi protes pra-modern yang amat langka dan untuk zaman penaklukan ini, inilah saja yang kita temui.


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The most memorable chapter in the work concerns a duel between Hang Tuah and his closest friend, Hang Jebat. Hang Tuah was falsely accused of adultery with one of his king's maids by his jealous rivals. Upon hearing the accusation, the king ordered Hang Tuah killed, without a further investigation of his alleged offense. Hang Tuah was secretly saved, however, by his executioner, the Bendahara.





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