SA VAGE MALA KS' OF SELANGOR
These bamboo tubes were called a ding tengkhing,a or aquarrelling bamboos,a and the ceremony aRentak Balei,a i.e. aStamping on (the floor of) the Tribal Hall,a evidently a reference to some form of beating time. On the occasion of a Besisi feast at which I was present, the two performers sat in the middle of the chiefs room. The bamboo tubes were six in number (two sets of three each), and each performer held one, I believe the one which produced the higher note, in his right hand, and the other in his left. Each set was of gradually diminishing sizes. The two biggest tubes, which gave the deepest notes, were called a male a (lemol) or a father a (kuyn) ; the two intermediate ones were called a female a (kedol) or amothera (gendea), and the two smallest were called a child a (kgnon) or a grandchild a (kgntot ?). The utility of these a child aa-tubes was not very clear.
I was told that they were mere supernumeraries, to replace any others that got damaged ; and it is possible that this may have been the case, as this would account for their being smaller than either of the others. At the performances at which I was present the performers, holding one of the tubes in each hand, struck them in rapid succession upon the central floor-beam of the house, producing a simple musical rhythm, which was distinctly harmonious.1 One of the tunes played by the Besisi consisted of one high note (struck by the right hand) followed by three low notes
1 According to De Morgan (vii. 430), though it is possible that by some
it is the difference in length of these tribes both length and diameter are
cylinders that causes the variation in varied simultaneously. Elsewhere (viii.
the note ; but as the note really de- 281) De Morgan himself says that
pends upon the volume of air set in both are varied. Yet the tubes
vibration within the cylinder, the re- that I brought home were all
quired note is obtained less clumsily, almost (to a fraction) of the same
and I believe much more commonly, length, though varying greatly in
by varying the diameter of the tube, diameter.by varying the diameter of the tube, diameter.