21 October, 2010

Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra

:: Bamboo tree ::
Did you know that Bamboo plays a significant role in the daily lives of Sabah’s ethnic societies? It is used as food (young bamboo shoots), building materials to build houses and rafts, entertainment such as stilt-walking and in the bamboo dance. It is also used as musical instruments.

Bamboo is crafted into woodwind and percussion instruments such as the sompoton (bamboo aerophone), bungkau (jaw harp) and tagunggak (hollow bamboo idiophone). These are the instruments used by the famed Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra. Otherwise known as Kinabalu Merdu Sound Bamboo Orchestra.

:: Bungkau ::
The Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra was initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Arts & Heritage Sabah under the guidance of Mr Chua Teck Lui in Dec 2000. It is the pioneer bamboo musical orchestra in Sabah, based in Kota Kinabalu. The objective is to preserve the use of bamboo musical instruments in today’s society. The Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra has performed all over Sabah, Malaysia, with performances in Jakarta, Korea and Japan.

Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra, Sayang Kinabalu

The Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra emerged as the champions in the national “Ilham Desa” (countryside inspirations) competition organised by the Ministry of Rural and Federal Development held on June 2007 in Selangor. The Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra has produced an album entitled “Muzik Tradisi Instrumental”, translated as Music from Traditional Instruments.

:: Sompoton ::

The use of the bamboo as a musical instrument in traditional music had its beginnings in 1945. Among the earliest instruments were the Tagunggak (percussion instrument), sompoton (wind instrument), bungkau (Jaw harp) and gendang (drums). However, traditional music played with bamboo instruments was not well known to music enthusiasts at the time because it was a farmer’s past time and was only played during harvest festival.

:: Bamboo Music Festival ::

This is just one of the many efforts made by local groups and with the support of the local government in preserving the diverse cultures in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. I am no expert in local cultures and customs but the Kadazan-Dusun culture has always played a big part of life in Sabah. Especially during the month of May, during Kaamatan (harvest festival). Not only will you see the local ethnic races celebrate their tradition, you will see the people of Sabah from all races and walks of life join in the celebrations. It is a fantastic opportunity to see the way life was before modernization, and a great photography opportunity.


This orchestra has also been featured on National Geographic Channel.

Source :
All pictures are downloaded from Google

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  1. sumandak..Bungkau tue belum penah tengok lagi.thanx bg tambah pengetahuan.

  2. itu lagu sayang kinabalu jg la best.. mo guyang2 sia trus.. hehe..

  3. buli lah saya sumirid lepas ni kiiihaa...! :)

  4. Excellent post... memang siok ni bamboo orchestra... salute to those who managed to produce it

  5. @Si Biskut, sebenarnya saya pun bukan tahu sangat tu. Nasib ada internet :)

    @Just, ya memang best ni. Berbakat betul dorang kan...

    @Donny, lain kali kita sumazau sama-sama aah...

    @Aloycia, thanks...Glad you like it :)

  6. wow! saya memang suka amat dengan muzik dr buluh terutama seruling. Sayangnya terlalu susah nak cari...
    Sayang betul tak dapat pergi sana

  7. wow..interesting oh kan..:)
    sya masi ingat nenek sya dulu ada gitar bambu..

  8. @Anyss, tak cuba cari di kedai-kedai yang jual alat muzik tradisional??

    @Stella, tiada try main?? hehe...

  9. wah bagus info ni..ur entry semua it..all bout sabah..different from other :)

  10. @Cik Tom, thanks. Ini yang tambah semangat nie...


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