Music of Malaysia is influenced by its neighboring areas. Read more about Malaysian music.

Music of Malaysia

'Music speaks what cannot be expressed in words.' The rich and varied cultural heritage of Malaysia has also understood the importance of music and added this bead in its string. Malaysian music originally was developed out of need, like in earlier times when there was nothing to communicate; it was used to keep up a correspondence. Be it an announcement for wedding, birth, danger, warnings, death and any other news, the different beats of drums used to convey the message across villages.

Malaysia is a multi-cultural country and none of its cultural arts is untouched by the influence. Applying the same theory for music, it had inclinations of Indonesian, Thai, Portuguese, Filipino and Chinese composition. Malaysian music which was influenced by various cultures got evolved with the passing time and secured its individual identity. In different parts of the country, there live people of many racial groups who have their own musical preferences, like Arabic Ghazals are popular in Kuala Lumpur and Rongeng music is preferred in Malacca.

Malaysia MusicInstigated from Arabia, Zapin music is loved all over the country. In fact, the present culture is soon catching up the taste of Europeans and Americans and thus, scores of pop singers and rock bands are emerging here. Regarding traditional music of Malaysia, it is based on Gamelan which is a stringed instrument having ethereal and stifled sound. Earlier, Gamelan accompanied by the hypnotic beats of Malaysian drums used to make the background music for dances in the courts.

Today, Rebana Ubi serves as the ceremonial instrument and often played to strike refined music. Keeping up the time-honored heritage, Giant Drum Festival is arranged every year in Kelantan where eminent players across the country come to show their talent. Another popular traditional instrument which is used commonly in social occasions is Kompang. Pronounced "sa-peh", Sape is a convention lute from Central Borneo, popular in Malaysia. It is used habitually by the Kenyahs, Kayans and Kelabit tribes in Sarawak.

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