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date: 09 December 2019

Kompang (kumpang)locked

  • Jack Percival Baker Dobbs
  • , revised by Patricia Matusky



Frame drum of Peninsular Malaysia. Its diameter ranges from about 20 to 33 cm or smaller (suitable for a child’s hands). The slightly basin-shaped frame is about 7 cm deep and made of cengal, pulai, or leban wood. The head, made of skin from a female goat, is nailed to the edge of the frame, and a narrow strip of copper covers the nails. A strip of red cloth surrounds the copper, and finally all layers are secured to the body with brass tacks. The head is tautened by inserting a rattan hoop (sedak) inside the frame under the skin where it passes over the rim. The player holds the drum in the curve of the left arm with the left hand gripping the rim, and beats the head with the fingers of the right hand in precise locations to produce varied timbres.

Kompang are played in large or small groups with essentially three musical parts that interlock to produce a resultant rhythm. In very small ensembles of about ten drums, a fourth part makes the texture even denser with the addition of ...

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