Rimba Zone 3 peddle traditional music as village product

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HADRAH Al-Akhwah, a hadrah (Malay tambourine) team under the Rimba Zone 3 Village Consultative Council (MPK), is keen to train youths to play the hadrah to strengthen and preserve the traditional Malay heritage.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, the head of the hadrah team, Muhd Nuh Hj Abd Hamid, said it is a way to keep traditional music alive.

“Our target is to train youngsters (around the neighbourhood) on how to play the instrument and expose them to wedding functions or events so they will learn,” he said.

He added that there are youngsters who don’t know how to play traditional musical instruments but eventually learn to master them.

“Some may not know how to play but they have the interest and are willing to learn,” he said, adding that most of the youths are under 18 years old.

Muhd Nuh, who has 10 years of experience playing the hadrah, said around five of his university mates volunteered to teach the youths to play the instrument.

“We’re not expecting any rewards from teaching them…What’s important is that these youths know how to play (the hadrah) and keep the Bruneian tradition strong,” he said.

The team also plays the gulingtangan - a musical instrument composed of a row of small horizontally-laid gongs that are accompanied by larger suspended gongs and drums. It also teaches local youths how to play it. According to Muhd Nuh, the hadrah and gulingtangan team is part of MPK Rimba Zone 3’s One Village One Product (OVOP) initiative.

“We offer our services (by playing the instruments) at weddings, and we receive invitations to weddings every week,” he said. In addition, he said the team incorporates modern musical instruments with the traditional ones in some of its performances so as to make them unique.

“We aim to be dynamic in terms of our songs too, apart from combining modern instruments in supporting the hadrah and gulingtangan, which are the core instruments used in our performances,” said the 27-year-old.

The addition of modern instruments in the hadrah and gulingtangan performances will also attract youth to join the team, said Muhd Nuh.

“It’s to keep the youngsters interested thus we need to follow modern trends… We also involve them in decision making and creating songs for our performances,” he said.

In terms of payment, he said there are no registration fees for those who want to be part of the team, as it is under the MPK. In terms of how much they charge for performances, he said “it depends on what customers want. Normally, if they only ask for a hadrah and gulingtangan performance, the price will be about $350. If it’s complete with modern instruments, it will be about $500.”

He added that the team has its own long and short-term goals that cater to the youth members.

“We saved about 60 per cent of the money that we get from performances and we’ve accumulated about $7,000. We plan to get a van which will be used to transport our members to events,” he said.

The Brunei Times