Johor’s acclaimed Kompang Jidor group to perform at Singapore music festival

Persatuan Kompang Kg Parit Madirono is the only remaining kompang group in Johor today. — Picture courtesy of Pusaka
Persatuan Kompang Kg Parit Madirono is the only remaining kompang group in Johor today. — Picture courtesy of Pusaka

PETALING JAYA, April 17 — The acclaimed Kompang Jidor group from Johor is heading to Singapore for the international festival A Tapestry of Sacred Music.

Persatuan Kompang Kg Parit Madirono will delight music fans tomorrow and Friday at the Esplanade, followed by a kompang jidor workshop that will take place on Saturday.

The troupe will be accompanied by cultural heritage organisation Pusaka.

Once a musical tradition that was celebrated throughout Johor, kompang jidor includes 12 interlocking beats accompanied by chanting incantations based on the Kitab Barzanji, a Prophet Muhammad book of praises that was composed in the 18th century.

The jidor is a traditional Javanese drum used by kompang troupes in Batu Pahat, Muar and Johor Baru. — Picture courtesy of Pusaka
The jidor is a traditional Javanese drum used by kompang troupes in Batu Pahat, Muar and Johor Baru. — Picture courtesy of Pusaka

The jidor is a traditional Javanese drum used by kompang troupes in Batu Pahat, Muar and Johor Baru.

This older form of kompang has become increasingly rare today.

Often heard in Malaysia and Singapore at weddings, special occasions, social events and festivities, the kompang can be loosely translated to “hit” and “beat”.

The art form was first introduced by early Arab traders and missionaries in the 13th century with a sound influenced by many cultures including Indian and Middle Eastern.

Persatuan Kompang Kg Parit Madirono is the only remaining kompang group in Johor actively preserving the traditional 12-beat kompang jidor through performing and training.

Details of Kompang Jidor: Drumbeat of Devotion:

Performance: April 18 and 19

Esplanade Courtyard, 7.45pm and 9pm

Workshop: April 20

Esplanade Rehearsal Studio, 2pm to 4pm.

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