Rebab to serunai: Orkestra Tradisional Malaysia's virtual guide

Have you wondered how to keep the groove going with a rebana (Malay frame drum)? What about the ethereal sounding keromong gamelan? Can you name any traditional Melanau musical instruments?

Istana Budaya’s (IB) virtual traditional music series by Orkestra Tradisional Malaysia (OTM) is a great place to start to get acquainted with some of our country’s traditional musical instruments.

Aptly called Alat Dan Muzik Tradisional Oleh Pemuzik Istana Budaya, this digital series of 28 short videos is streaming for free on IB’s Youtube channel.

Catch these traditional masters from OTM as they share their knowledge and insights about their instruments, including the origins, community connections and cultural background. Some videos also show viewers how an instrument is constructed from scratch.

These introductory videos (released week days, 10am) will run until Aug 13.

The best part? These remotely shot videos, all in Bahasa Malaysia, are short and informative. Just nice to keep you inspired as you enjoy your morning cuppa.

Learn the basics of how to play serunai Kedah (wind musical instrument) with Asrol Amri Mohamad or the gambus (short-necked lute) with Noor Leyzam Ali.

Or find out how a rebab (bowed string instrument) is made with Roslan Harun.

The OTM last performed live at IB’s Panggung Sari on March 31 during the Istana Budaya 2021 "Norma Baharu" launch event.

With much of the country still under the first phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), performing arts venues are still closed and recordings are still not allowed.

Performances, without a live audience, will only be allowed under Phase Three of the NRP.

Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur has been closed since May 12.

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