Badron Omar, master of Kompang Jawa – Teruntung and Hadaro

Badron Omar, master of Kompang Jawa – Teruntung and Hadaro

The retiree talks about keeping the art alive with Kumpulan Kompang Anak Selangor (Kompas)

Badron Omar is part of the last generation of Kompang Terontong performers in Selangor.

BADRON Omar is a master of traditional Kompang Jawa – an art form that is becoming increasingly rare in Malaysia.

He was born in 1951 in Kampung Parit Baru Darat, Sungai Ayer Tawar, Sabak Bernam, Selangor. In 1971, he started dabbling in the art of Kompang Jawa with the guidance of the elders in the village who had been actively playing Kompang Jawa since pre-Independence.

“The origin of this Kompang Jawa Terontong is from the elderly from the land of Java, which is in East Java. I am of Javanese descent but was born in Malaysia. I grew up here, I went to school here and I’m retired. Now I spend all my time on Kompang Jawa Terontong and Hadaro,” said Badron.

After training every week for five years, and mastering the art of Kompang Teruntung and Kompang Hadaro, in 1976 Badron was finally able to accompany his group to perform at weddings.


Kompas has managed to revive the Kompang Terontong again with much effort. – Pusaka pic

He later took over the helm of the group, known as Kumpulan Kompang Anak Selangor (Kompas), encompassing an older lineage of Kompang Jawa tradition. Badron is still playing Kompang Jawa today. Kompas is the last generation of Kompang Terontong performers in Selangor.

“Originally there were many people who learned the Kompang Javanese tradition, but now they have all passed on. So even for our group, with much effort, alhamdulillah, we can revive Kompang Terontong again,” said Badron.

Kompang Jawa encompasses two forms of kompang (frame drum) traditions – Kompang Terontong and Kompang Hadaro. Distinct from other forms of kompang, the Kompang Terontong is a melodic kompang tradition using kompangs of various sizes mirroring the Javanese gamelan instrumentation.

The Kompang Hadaro tradition features livelier rhythms, played by the younger performers. The Kompang Jawa tradition was brought to the Malay Peninsula by Javanese traders in the early 1900s.


The musical instruments were made using strong forest wood such as cengal wood.– Pusaka pic


Kompang Jawa encompasses two forms of kompang (frame drum) traditions – Kompang Terontong and Kompang Hadaro. – Pusaka pic

It is traditionally performed at mosques and madrasahs during ceremonies to mark the completion of Quranic studies, circumcision, and weddings.

“This Hadaro was indeed born in Malaysia and not from Java. But it was people in the past who pioneered the art of Kompang Jawa Hadaro. That’s why in the past, Hadaro was played all over Malaysia. Even in Johor, there used to be Hadaro. It is also played in Perak,” he added.

Kompang Jawa is accompanied by soaring devotional singing, selawat, based on verses of the Kitab Barzanji. Among the most common selawat are ‘Assolatu’, ‘Bissari’, ‘Ya-Solatun’, ‘Sailillah’ and other verses from ‘Kitab Berzanji’.

Kompang Jawa traces its roots to the legends of the Wali Songo (Nine Saints) Java. The Wali Songo is said to have used local musical forms as they spread the teachings of Islam to the interiors of Java.


Kompang Jawa is accompanied by soaring devotional singing, selawat, based on verses of the Kitab Barzanji. – Pusaka pic

When it comes to these musical instruments, they use strong forest wood such as cengal wood.

“This wood is really resistant. It can be changed to other wood but now it is difficult to find the carpenter. So thank God what is left can still be used. It’s still strong and usable,” shared the Kompas head.

“I am really interested in Terontong and Hadaro. I want to revive this Kompang Jawa so that it does not die. I look at this Kompang and I love it. Who will play it if not us?” said Badron.

Adiguru Cendana is a community arts programme that aims to sustain the development and ensure the continuity of Malaysian traditional art forms, implemented by Cendana (Cultural Economy Development Agency) in collaboration with cultural organisation Pusaka. A total of 34 masters of traditional arts throughout the country have received Adiguru Cendana grants.

source – The Vibes

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