2017-07-17T02:59:37Z (GMT) by
Audio 7.1: Audio Example 1 in Chapter 7 of book: Margaret Kartomi, ‘Musical Journeys in Sumatra’, Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. “Guritan” is both a Malay story-telling song genre and a quatrain verse form. In Besemah, the Ogan-Komering river basins and elsewhere, semi-professional bards or story-tellers sing “guritan” at weddings and other ceremonies and rituals. During colonial times, but rarely now, hosts would employ the bards for all night performances that lasted for several nights on end. After singing prayers to the ancestors, the singer usually performs chant-like, repeated-note passages alternating with eventful, ornamented and partly melismatic melodic sections. In this excerpt, recorded in December 1971, the “guritan” is sung by Bp Alik (male vocalist) who was originally from Kampung Gunung Agung. Duration: 2 min. 16 sec. Copyright 1971. Margaret J. Kartomi.