Talempong, a Minangkabau’s Traditional Music Instrument


One of traditional music tools that usually use in Minangkabau tribe is Talempong. Talempong is a set of music instrument made from mix of copper, white tin, and white iron. This equipment is played by beaten it with wooden stick.

The Talempong’s form is a round of 17 – 18 cm diameter with a different shape between top and bottom. The top of Talempong is bigger than the bottom. There is a small ball on the top, like a head of Talempong, while the hole at the bottom. The standard size of Talempong are: 1) 8.5 – 9.4 cm height, 2) 17 – 18cm diameter, 3) 5 – 6 cm wall height, 4) 16.5 – 17cm lower diameter, 5) 2 – 2.5 cm pencu diameter, 6) 3 – 4 mm width.

The Technic

There are two technics to play Talempong, traditionally and contemporary. First of all, the traditional one. In the traditional technic, the Talempong is played by three man, where each players play two Talempong by holding the Talempong on his left hand vertically. The top of the Talempong is clamped by thumb and forefinger, while the bottom is hanged by middle, ring, and pinkie. The function of the forefinger is as a bolter between the two Talempongs so the sound sounds loud. Thus, in this technique, the right hand is used as the Talempong’s beaten.

The second technique is the contemporary technique. In this method, the Talempongs are arranged in a rack or rancakan. Then the Talempongs are beaten with wooden stick, just like common percussion.

The Aim

Talempong music instrument usually use as a complement of Minangkabau’s traditional ceremonies, such as penghulu’s appointment, wedding party, a new house ceremony, harvest, or randai performance. Talempong also can be used as a rhythm control. As the general function, Talempong use as a recreation, society integration, and also media communication.

Talempong also played as a welcoming ceremony. Usually it is played together with another traditional Minangkabau music equipment such as saluang, gandang, and serunai.

This post is also available in: Indonesian


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