What is Sasando?
Sasando is a traditional musical instrument from Indonesia, precisely from Rote Island, Province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, East of Bali. Sasando is a stringed instrument without chords and played by fingers. This instrument almost same like Harp, but has a very distinctive form and sound. Sasando is one of the famous musical instruments, not only in Indonesia, but also began to known in the world.
See also : How to Choose Violin
Sasando traditional musical instrument is often playing to accompany singing, poetry, traditional dance and amusing grieving families. At this time, Sasando not only famous in Rote Island, but it’s also famous in other areas, such as Kupang and other areas.
Sasando is one of the musical instruments that have varied sounds, so it can play in various genres, such as traditional music, pop and other music genres.
History of Sasando Traditional Musical Instrument
The name of Sasando starts from the Rote people who call it “sasandu,” meaning a device that vibrates, people called it “sasando”. Not yet clear the origin of this Sasando, but according to the story of the people there, this instrument has been used since the 7th century.
In local people legends, it’s told about the story of Sangguana who washed ashore on Ndana Island and fell in love with the King’s daughter. Then the King gave conditions to Sangguana. He asked to make a musical instrument that different from other musical instruments.
At one point, Sangguana dreamed. In the dream he plays a beautiful musical instrument and has a sweet voice. Then, Sangguana made a musical instrument called Sasando and given to the King. The king amazed by the musical instrument that made by Sangguana. So the King allowed his daughter to marry Sangguana.
Sasando has a very unique shape and different from other stringed instruments. In the main part of Sasando this long tubular shape made of special bamboo. The bottom and top of the bamboo is a place to install and adjust the strings. At the center of the bamboo is usually given “senda” (buffer) where the stretch stretched. Senda used to set the scales and produce different tones on each string. While the container for resonance in the form of woven “lontar” leaves are often called “haik”.
How to Play Sasando
Although Sasando is a musical instrument that played by picking, but sasando has different way with other stringed instruments. Sasando is usually played using both hands in opposite directions. The right hand acts to play the accord, while the left hand as a melody or bass. To play Sasando is certainly not easy, because it takes the harmonization of feelings and techniques, resulting in a tone that fits and melodious. In addition, the fingering skills in picking is necessary. Almost the same as the Harp musical skills in strumming greatly affects the sound especially when playing a fast tempo tone then the hand skills are indispensable.
Types of Sasando
Sasando traditional musical intrument has different types. According to its development, Sasando divided into 2 types:
1. Traditional Sasando
Traditional Sasando is a genuine Sasando form and played without electronic devices such as amplifiers. Also called “Acoustic Sasando”.
2. Electric Sasando
While electric Sasando is a type of Sasando that uses electronic devices (Modern Sasando). Usually electric Sasando played on a large stage or a modern show.
See also : Best Ska Bands of All Time
Sasando divided into several types based on his voice, including:
1. Sasando Engkel
Sasando Engkel is a Sasando type that has 28 strings.
2. Sasando Double
For a double Sasando usually has 56 or 84 strings, so it has more types of sound.
3. Sasando Gong
Sasando Gong is a type of Sasando that has a voice resembling the sound of Gong (traditional musical instruments from Indonesia).
4. Sasando Violin
While the Sasando violin is a Sasando that has a voice resembling the sound of a violin.
Surely the use of each type of Sasando tailored to the skills of every player and the needs of the show.
Development of Sasando
Sasando traditional musical instrument is preserved and developed until now. Nowadays Sasando developed into several types, in terms of sound and even made electronic music.
Sasando still often played to accompany traditional songs, poets, and dances. In addition Sasando also featured in orchestra and solo performances.
Her beautiful, melodious voice makes many people interested in this instrument. Sasando music aren’t only famous in the local community, but also known in the world.
See also : Angklung – Musical Instrument of Indonesia
One of the famous players is “Berto Pah.” He is the son of the maestro sasando of Indonesia “Jeremias Aogus Pah.” The name of Berto Pah became famous because his performing in a talent show event in Indonesia.
I hope sasando traditional musical instrument of Indonesia, will be better known in the world for the future.