Kompang : an organological and ethnomusicological study of a Malay frame drum
This study explores how the kompang (single-headed frame drum), which was adapted from the Arab/Islamic culture, plays a significant role in augmenting the Malay culture. Using a combination of musicological and ethnographic approaches, the author reveals the historical facts as well as analyzing the organological aspects of the instrument. The uniqueness of kompang music is disclosed through the musicological analysis of its repertoire, according to the three types of kompang ensemble performed throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Combining observations and interviews with his own experiences of learning how to play the kompang, the author presents a detailed account of traditional, aural learning processes as well as the performance practices of the instrument as presented in the ethnomusicological literature. In addition, the study of kompang music traces the stylistic changes in its traditional form and functions and links these changes to the socio-cultural transformations prevalent in Malaysian society. This work - complete with four compact discs (audio and video) of musical examples - contributes not only to ethnomusicological theory and method, but also to a deeper understanding of Malay musical culture.