Monday, March 30, 2009

Music Instruments of Sabah

Who would have thought that Sabah has such a rich musical heritage with all those Sabahans recently featuring that high on Akademia Fantasia and the like! Hey, it is exactly the rich musical heritage that brought Sabahans there – the love of sound, music and song is in their blood because music has played, for time immemorial, a significant role in the lives of the locals. Sure, nowadays keyboards and karaoke sets figure more prominently amongst the younger generation but when hard pressed, most Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Bajau will have to admit that they know at least the basics of gong play – until recently that was about the only instrument they were exposed to, next to the guitar; electronics and mass media has changed that thoroughly of late and I don’t know about youngsters nowadays. Will they still learn to play the gongs at an early age? Or will, in 10 or 15 years, still anybody be interested in gongs? However it is, at the moment many Sabahans, even the younger ones know how to play gongs. But there are so many more local instruments – instruments that have long ago yielded to the pressure of guitars and percussion bands. You can read more about them in my latest feature on my website!

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