Composition of Gamat Music: A Hybrid Culture of the Minangkabau Coastal Community

Asril ., Yunaidi ., Dharminta Suryana, Yanti Heriyawati


Gamat is a genre of traditional Minangkabau music which constitutes a hybridization of Melayu, Indian, Minangkabau, and Portuguese musical elements. This music developed in the towns of Padang, Pariaman, Solok, Padang Panjang, and Painan, and other towns in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Today, gamat is still a popular form of entertainment music in the West Sumatra community. This musical ensemble performs melancholic songs in a slow tempo and also lively music (joget) in a fast tempo, with metaphoric texts of pantun in the Minangkabau language. This musical composition is based on songs of traditional gamat music, such as  Kaparinyo and Joget, which are developed in two forms - in the form of an arrangement, and in ‘contemporary’ form. The arrangement form follows the basic principles of traditional gamat songs with Minangkabau lyrics; the ‘contemporary’ form abandons traditional patterns and introduces new explorative rhythmic patterns and melodies that are enhanced by the use of conventional Western musical instruments with an approach of hybridity.

Keywords: Composition of gamat music, hybridity, tradition, arrangement, and contemporary

DOI: 10.7176/ADS/95-01

Publication date:September 30th 2021

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ISSN 2224-6061 (Paper) ISSN 2225-059X (Online)

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