Sasando - Traditional Musical Instruments of Culture Rote East Nusa Tenggara

Sasando is a traditional musical instrument of culture Rote, East Nusa Tenggara. People Rote call (Sasandu), means that the tools that vibrate or beep. Or in the language of Kupang often call sasando, stringed musical instrument played by plucking with the fingers of the hand. Sasando is a musical instrument that is plucked. Sasando purportedly been used in the community Rote since the 7th century.

Sasando main ingredient is bamboo that form a long tube. Then in the middle, from top to bottom circular buffer given or lump-lump-in rote language called senda-place strings or string stretching around the bamboo tube, resting from the top down. This Senda give different tones to every passage strings. At first tuner stringed instrument made of wood, which must be rotated then tapped to set the right tone. Then this sasando tube is placed in a container made of woven palm leaves called haik. Haik is what serves as resonance sasando.

There are several versions of folklore that tells about the early sasandu / sasando, including the story begins with a young man named Sangguana strandings on the island Ndana. Then by people around, he was brought before the king Takalaa. This was the beginning Sangguana meeting with the princess. Sangguana fell in love with the princess, but the king has a requirement to receive Sangguana. Sangguana asked the king to make a musical instrument other than the other. In her dream Sangguana play a musical instrument beautiful shape with a melodious voice. A dream that inspired Sangguana to make musical instruments such as the king desired. Musical instrument was named sasandu. Then sasandu is given to princesses and princess give the name Hitu (seven) the meaning of the name is because the provision of 7 (seven) sasando strings vibrate simultaneously when plucked. Sangguanapun eventually marry the daughter of the king, because it managed to meet the wishes of the king. Therefore, in the function and use, sasando usually played to accompany singing, imitating the singing, poetry readings accompanied the Rote also to go to the left area of ​​dance, cheer the bereaved family and who are having a party. There is no requirement or special rituals to be memainkanya. Anyone can learn to play it.

Sasando counted rapid development, starting from sasando stringed 7 (pentatonic) as sasando gong, because it is usually played with the rhythm of the gong, gong sasando then evolved into a stringed musical instrument pentatonic with 11 (eleven) strings. Sasando gong is very popular in the islands of Rote.

Then estimated in the late 18th century sasando changes, from sasando gong to sasando violin. Sasando violin is more developed in Kupang. Sasando violin named because the tones that exist in sasando mimic the tone of the violin. His tone diatonic and looks like sasando gong but the shape of bamboo and a diameter greater than sasando gong and the number of strings on the violin sasando more, initially 30 tones developed into 32 to 36 strings. Sasando violin there are 2 forms of sasando to form the resonance chamber is made of palm leaves / haik and sasando fiddle with the shape of the resonance chamber is made of wood or multiplex (box / box / crate). As we often see on the redesigned five thousands emissions in 1992.

In 1958, sasando electric start to be made up in 1960 successfully completed and get the same perfect sound to the original sound. This form of electrical sasando made as many as 30 strings. His first Arnold Edon makers, and direct his first artificial electricity sasando below to Jakarta by Thobi Messakh (traditional leaders of Rote). The most important tool in sasando electrically, besides sasando body and strings, is a spool (pickup) which is a transducer that will change the vibrating strings into electrical energy, and then passed through the wires and into the amplifier. 

Source: Culture of Indonesia
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