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date: 15 November 2019


  • Patricia Matusky


Wooden concussion platform of the Murut people of Sabah, Malaysia. This unusual idiophone is a special dance floor some 3 metres square, made of flexible wooden boards. It springs vertically about 30 cm or more when set in motion by dancers, producing regular crashes as it hits wooden support beams below. It is usually located in the village community house. The dancers sing and move rhythmically, shifting their weight to move the floor. The rhythm of the crashes and the tempo of the song sometimes move gradually out of phase because of the difficulty of breathing and dancing at the same tempo. The use of the lansaran and the singing of four-line verses (pantun) was formerly connected with headhunting ceremonies, however nowadays it is used for celebrations in the village and to welcome visitors.

P. Matusky and S.B. Tan: The Music of Malaysia, the Classical, Folk and Syncretic Traditions...

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