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date: 06 May 2021

Kacapi [kacaping](ii)locked

  • Margaret J. Kartomi



Boat-shaped plucked lute used in the Buginese and Makassar (kacaping) areas of the province of South Sulawesi and on the island of Sumba, Indonesia. The handle, soundboard, foot and bridge are all cut from one piece of wood, and the back of the resonator is closed by a lid which is perforated with several holes. The proportions of the instrument vary. It is elegantly shaped and often elaborately carved. It has two strings. Men or women play it, either solo or accompanying a vocal part or in an ensemble together with a lea-lea (bamboo zither), ganrang (double-headed drum) and gong. Although it is a popular instrument it is not mentioned in the historical Lontara (chronicles), which suggests that it has not been used as a court instrument.

Similar instruments include the hasapi in Batak Toba, North Sumatra, the kulapi in Batak Karo and the kucapi in Minangkabau.

C. Sachs...

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