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Mantau Kundang played on harmonika

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posted on 11.07.2017, 05:35 by Kartomi, Margaret J., Kartomi, Hidris
Audio 7.5: Audio Example 5 in Chapter 7 of book: Margaret Kartomi, ‘Musical Journeys in Sumatra’, Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. The “harmonika” has been played in Tanjungsakti since the early part of the 20th century. At that time, German Protestant missionaries converted some of the town’s residents to Christianity and introduced the “harmonika” (chromatic button melodeon) with which to accompany hymns and local folk songs. This accordion-like instrument, made by the German firm Höhner, has 4 knobs and 10 buttons. Local musicians have adapted the traditional jew’s-harp repertoire, such as the happy courting song “Mantau Kundang” (“Call a Friend”), to this instrument and characteristically use anhemitonic pentatonic scales (5-tone scales with all intervals greater than a semitone) as the basis for their melodies. This excerpt of “Mantau Kundang”, performed by Bp Lesai of Dusun Gunung Kumbang, Tanjungsakti, was recorded in December 1971. Duration: 1 min. 16 sec. Copyright 1971. Margaret J. Kartomi.

Original format: 1 sound tape reel (0:29:38) : analog; 3¾ ips, 7½ ips



Margaret J. Kartomi

Geographic location

Indonesia – South Sumatra – Ogan dan Komering Ilir – Besemah – Tanjungsakti

Collection date


Collection Type

Sound Recording