Effort to Immortalize Asli Songs
Malay Asli songs have beautiful lyrics that are carefully arranged in terms of its syllables. Usually, the lyrics of Asli songs consist of 4 lines of pantun or quatrains. its opening lines talks about love, fate and the likes.
For example, the song of the great composer from Johor, Pak Lomak, tells about Kuala Deli of Peninsular Malaysia's west coast. Besides its scenic beauty, the song also tell about one's pining.
As in the characters of the Malays in the olden days, their language is graceful to convey their messages. If we study the pantuns or stories that were told in old pantuns, it display the demureness and grace of the Malays. The Malays did not make demands, but with courtesy and grace. Asli songs reflected the demureness of Malays.
However, do not assume the melancholic melodies do not have strength. With a powerful and graceful delivery, Asli songs reflected the dynamics of Asian culture.
There has been no factual research on the origins of Asli songs. Perhaps it started in Bintan based on stories that its queen is competent in composing songs.
Up until now, Asli musical instruments usually comprised of the gendang, accordion, violin, bass guitar and rebana and played by 6 to 8 musicians.
But as one of the uniqueness of Malay culture, its music is able to be modernised.
Today, Asli music can be arranged up to symphonic orchestra level. Its melancholic effect are more profound when played by a string section comprising several violins such as those performed by Tan Sri S M Salim with his song Makan Sireh in two genres, Asli and Ghazal, performed by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Every society has its own music and legacy. The true selves of the Malays lies in its Asli songs. However, the younger generations and the electronic media lacks the support to uphold this ideals.
I wish to recommend the following :
For unabridged version in Malay, click here