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Tuesday April 24, 2007

Special meaning for nobat ensemble


KUALA TERENGGANU: The installation ceremony for Sultan of Terengganu Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara on Thursday will hold a special meaning for the Kumpulan Nobat di-Raja Terengganu. 

It was 42 years ago when some members of the Terengganu nobat group or royal court orchestra played the sacred, haunting music at the installation of Tuanku Mizan’s grandfather, the late Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah as the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1965. 

This time, they will return to Istana Negara to sound the nobat at Tuanku Mizan’s installation. 

Tengku Ibrahim Tengku Ismail, 56, a member of the group for 23 years, said he was happy and proud to be part of the nobat ensemble at such an auspicious occasion, adding that the group had been practising every day. 

He plays the nafiri (long clarinet), a talent he inherited from his father, the late Tengku Ismail Tengku Muda. 

Tengku Ibrahim said the nobat ensemble usually had the opportunity to perform once a year at Istana Maziah in conjunction with the Sultan’s birthday celebrations. 

Practice makes perfect: Members of the Kumpulan Nobat di-Raja Terengganu rehearsing for the King's installation ceremony at the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. The installation ceremony for Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on Thursday holds a special meaning for the royal court orchestra. — Bernama
“We will perform four songs for the installation ceremony compared to three songs at Tuanku Mizan’s installation as the Sultan of Terengganu in 1999,” he said. 

“We will be playing the PaluPalu Melayu tune as the royal regalia is being brought into the Balairong Seri (throne room),” Tengku Ibrahim said, adding that the same tune was sounded for the bathing ceremony at Tuanku Mizan’s installation as Sultan. 

Azar Yusof, 38, who is among the second echelon musicians in the group, said the other songs to be played would be Iskandar, Ibrahim Khalil and Seri Istana

There will be six musical instruments used – the gendang (drum) negara, gendang ibu, gendang anak, serunai (flute), nafiri and caklempong (small gong). 

The word nobat originates from the Persian word “naubat” which means nine types of instruments. 

Currently, only Terengganu, Kedah, Perak and Selangor have a nobat ensemble each. – Bernama  

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