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"Nobat Tabal" - the song that installs a sultan


Raja Iskandar Raja Halid (2010) "Nobat Tabal" - the song that installs a sultan. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)


In the Throne Hall of the Iskandariah Palace, the Sultan sits motionless on the dais while the nobat orchestra starts to play a lagu. It is traditionally believed that this special piece would determine the legitimacy and length of the new Sultan’s rule. Considered as the most significant piece among the sixteen lagu in the Royal Nobat of Perak’s repertoire, “Nobat Tabal” as the title implies, is played during the most important ceremony of all – the pertabalan of the Sultan. The duration which the Sultan has to sit out is measured by a repeated rhythmic sequence or ragam called man. There has been confusion, even among nobat musicians as to the actual meaning and function of man. It has been termed as “series of notes” or “tunes” (Linehan, 1951) and used to describe the repertoire (P.M. Shariffuddin and Abdul Latif Haji Ibrahim, 1977). This paper looks into this unique piece and what man actually stands for, based on interviews with royal musicians or orang kalur and practical demonstrations by Toh Setia Guna Abdul Aziz, leader of the royal orchestra.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Collection Type: Institution
Date: June 2010
Faculty/Centre/Office: Faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage
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