Modernizing tradition : the media and dikir barat of Kelantan

Raja Iskandar Raja Halid, (2011) Modernizing tradition : the media and dikir barat of Kelantan. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Dikir barat is an art form which is both tradisional and popular in Kelantan. It involves solo and group singing, hand clapping, sychronized body and hand movements, accompanied by percussion instruments. One unique aspect of dikir barat is when songs or verses are composed extemporaneously by the singer during a competition with another group. Topics for such 'debate' are not predetermined and may range from the profane to the profound. Dikir barat's popularity made it a suitable means a disseminating information and instilling values to the masses. The goverment saw this potential, and dikir barat was thus "plucked" out of its folk roots, "cleaned" and promoted through the media as one of Malaysia's cultural heritage. Competitions and performances were broadcasted on national TV and its songs played on the airwaves. From its humble origins in the kampongs of Kelantan, dikir barat was suddenly pushed into the limelight and became known nationwide. Schools and universities began to form their own dikir barat groups. Audio and video recordings and futher popularized dikir barat and made it a marketable cultural commodity with a thriving CD and VCD industry in Kelantan. Dikir barat also goes online. Albums, performances and artists are promoted through the internet, while songs and videos are freely upload on You Tube and other sites. This paper hopes to provide a descriptive account and preliminary analysis of the role played by the media in the transformation of dikir barat, against the backdrop of the changing cultural, social and political dynamics of Malaysia.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dikir barat - Malay tradisional art
Faculty: Faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage
Depositing User: En. Pahmi Abdullah
Date Deposited: 02 May 2012 11:16
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2012 13:11
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