Saluang

Name: Saluang.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open Ended >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.2
Area: West Sumatra.
Country: Indonesia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The saluang is an open ended flute that is traditional to the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia. Circular breathing is utilized by musicians to pay the Saluang, without interruption or taking a breath from the start to then of a melody. One famous saluang player is Idris Sutan Sati with saluang female singer Syamsimar.

Today, it is not so easy to find classic saluang cassette even in original place of saluang [Minangkabau]. In the past, the Minangkabau people believed that saluang player have pitunang [mantra] or magic power for hypnotizing the audience. That mantra called as Pitunang Nabi Daud.

The singgalong style which includes Pariaman, Koto Tuo, Ratok Solok, Cupak, Salayo and Pauah for playing the saluang is quite difficult for beginners,

Construction: The saluang is made of thin bamboo or “talang” [Schizostachyum brachycladum Kurz] having only four finger holes. The dimension of saluang is 3 cm to 4 cm in diameter and 40 cm to 60 cm in length. It is related to the suling of other parts of Indonesia.

The Minangkabau people believe that talang which is collected from rack of clothes dryer or found drifting in the river is a good material for making saluang. Traditionally Minangkabau people also use talang as a container for sticky rice food (lamang, lemang) and as horizontal rack for drying clothes [jemuran kain] under sunlight.

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