Johor Heads North

October 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The Zapin dance was originally believed to be introduced by the Muslim missionaries that came from the Middle East during the fifteenth century. Although in the past it was only performed by male dancers, female dancers are now allowed to join in the performance during present times. The music that accompanies this famous dance comes from a traditional music ensemble that consists of the gambus, accordion, rebab, marwas, rebana and dok. Though there are numerous forms of Zapin, it varies from state to state within Malaysia. This dance form is especially famous in the state of Johor.

The Zapin dance form is especially famous in the state of Johor

Ghazal music is a traditional artistic heritage within the Malay community in Johor. This type of musical art gained favour during the late 19th century, where ghazal recitals were introduced to the royal courts of Johor Sultan. In the past, the musical instruments of Ghazal consisted of a harmonium box, biola, gambus and tabla or dok (which is a type of drum). Other instruments were added in the later years, like keroncong and ukeleli. With these additions, the music was found to be quite noisy and most people felt that it has distracted from the original flavour of the Malay tunes, hence the new instruments were then taken out from the ensemble. Currently, only these instruments are being used as a traditional Johor Malay Ghazal ensemble; the harmonium, a set of tabla, the gambus, the guitar, the tamborine, the maracas and the violin.

If you have always wanted to experience these two cultural gems of Johor, then make a date with Dewan Filharmonik Petronas on 30th October 2011 as Badan Kesenian Warisan Johor is proud to present a Zapin dance and Ghazal music performance entitled ‘Johor Heads North’. Performances are scheduled to start at 8.30 pm on 30th October 2011. Tickets are priced at RM 58 for all seats. Early birds will be entitled to purchase these tickets at RM 48 (limited to the first 100 tickets sold). Patrons who are attending the function are required to be in smart casual dress code. For more information, please log on to the website here.

Photo (c) airiz

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