‘Cindai’ Instrumental Busker at Bukit Bintang

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My night in Malaysia has been completed by the street musician who were playing “Cindai”. The song which was made popular by Siti Nurhaliza was written by a Malaysian named Ngah Suhaimi in the year 1997. The Malay vibe gets stronger every time you hear this song, especially when I am listening to it in the roads of Kuala Lumpur. From the music perspective, the accordion melody and percussion are great. Another reason why this song is ‘so Malay’ is because of the rhymes in the lyric. Pay attention to the rhymes. This song, along with the beautiful Siti Nurhaliza, is often played on Indonesian TV when I was a child.

Cindailah mana tidak berkias
Jalinnya lalu rentah beribu
Bagailah mana hendak berhias
Cerminku retak seribu

Mendendam unggas liar di hutan
Jalan yang tinggal jangan berliku
Tilamku emas cadarnya intan
Berbantal lengan tidurku

Hias cempaka kenanga tepian
Mekarnya kuntum nak idam kumbang
Puas ku jaga si bunga impian
Gugurnya sebelum berkembang

 That night in Bukit Bintang, among the lights from stores and so many people, the song was played by a group of musicians joint together in “Sentuhan Musik Entertainment” and “Sabah Busker Community”. The musician played their instruments in front of a shopping centre.

The interesting thing, from a music instrument point of view, is there is an melodical instrument shaped like a bowl. Organologically, it is similar to Minang’s talempong or bonang in Javanese gamelan, but sounds different. It seems to be made of stainless steel and hit with a wooden stick, creating a high frequency sound. Unfortunately, I did not ask further about the instrument. Hopefully, I will get a chance to meet them again in the future. Jimbe, an African percussion instrument, is another instrument that was being played lively, and also Tambourine. An accordion, bass, and rhythm is also played through a recording playback.

There was something interesting when they played the music. The person who was playing the tambourine, also danced very well. While holding the tambourine, he also danced in a very Malay gesture, similar to the dance in “Serampang Dua Belas” which is deeply rooted in Sumatra (Riau and Jambi). He also cheered along with the commotion. Everyone there was very entertained. The audience, who knew the song, sang along to parts of the song. The song was very hypnotizing. These musicians is inseparable with the glimmering night of Bukit Bintang. We could see them almost every night in the streets of Bukit Bintang.

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