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The Sasando tube zither

The  "Sasando"  is a bamboo tube zither from Roti island, which actually can also be found on other islands.

The biggest eyecatcher on this instrument is the surrounding sound shield made of lontar leafs called "haik". It can be folded so it doesn't break if you transport the instrument.

The traditional instrument knows up to 24 strings and a diatonic tuning, but actual instruments are amplified and have up to 42 strings and a chromatic tuning.

Players are mostly male and wear a hat called "Tiilangga" which is quite similar to the sound shield.  The Sasando accompanies the traditional sad songs in th local "bini" language, which is the language of the ancestors.  

Traditional players knee in front of the instrument, while modern versions know a big stand. The right hand plucks the bass notes, the left hand the higher notes. Rhythmic elements might be added when the player beats the haik with a stick.

The new amplified version of the Sasando is giving the instrument
a little revival, so one can find many videos on Youtube with cover versions of famous rock and pop songs.

* Video 01 *   

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