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‘Kompang’ Maker To Continue Producing Traditional Instrument

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MELAKA – A ‘kompang’ maker in Merlimau, Melaka, is determined to continue making the traditional musical instrument, normally used at functions such as Malay weddings and welcoming VIP guests.

Muhamad Shabri Kasim, 35, said customers’ demand would depend on the season and it would normally increase with the school holidays approaching, as many would hold wedding receptions then.

“With the school holidays, we receive a lot of orders, from 150 to 200 pieces,” Muhamad Shabri, a second generation ‘kompang’ maker, told Bernama.

He said apart from receiving orders from local customers, orders also came from overseas such as the  Netherlands, South Korea, Italy and Qatar.

In the past five years since he started producing the instrument via his company Gema Seni, located in Kampung Pulai, Merlimau, he was able to produce 100 pieces a month with the help of two workers.

“We prioritise quality when producing a ‘kompang’ so that it can last longer …  the ones we produce can be used for two to three years,” said Muhamad Shabri, adding that he would normally sell the instrument at RM75 each, although the price range would depend on the sizes.

He said although he was using machines to help accelerate the production process, he still employed traditional methods, especially the nailing part, to maintain the quality of the instrument.

He said making ‘kompang’ involved the use of a combination of two main materials, namely wood and goat or sheep hide, to produce the sound.

“Various types of wood can be used such as ‘leban’, ‘sena’, jackfruit, mango and mahogany. The wood is cut and shaped into round frames, known as ‘baloh’,” he explained.

Muhammad Shabri said his company also produced other traditional musical instruments such as ‘gendang silat’, traditional and modern ‘rebana’, and ‘jidur’ while he planned to establish his own ‘kompang’ team in efforts to help preserve the Malay culture. – BERNAMA


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