Malay Music in Malaysia - a Brief Study of the Changes of the 20th Century

2308 Words Nov 5th, 2012 10 Pages
Malay Music in Malaysia:
A Brief Study of the Changes in the 20th Century
Malays – Tradition, Conflict and Change

Done By:
Melanie Ng
Rachel Chew

Word Count: 2094 words

Introduction The 20th century saw Malaysia undergoing numerous political, social and economical changes, all of which were reflected in the cultural changes that also took place during this time. In particular, Malay music in Malaysia, due to a myriad of factors and influences, experienced significant transformation to become Malay music, as we know it today. As such, this paper seeks to explore the changes observed in Malay music in the context of Malaysia over the 20th century, and provide an analysis of the factors which have contributed to
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Following the popularisation of western music by Broadway musicals, Malay movies followed this fashionable trend by incorporating songs that imitated western-styled scales and arrangements.

Pop Yeh Yeh’s popularity started to decline in 1971, giving way to the rise of other music genres like Hard Rock, Metal and later, Disco. The center of the Malay music industry shifted from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur around this time and non-Malay musicians began entering the Malay music market. By the early 1970s, KL became the center of Malay popular music.

Factors Leading to Changes
The greater diversity in Malay music can be attributed to a number of factors, namely economic influences, social and political environment, modernisation and technological advancement, globalisation, and Westernisation.

Economic Influences Economic influences play a significant role in that economic prosperity in Malaysia has provided the resources needed for the growth and promotion of Malay music to be pursued. Following the rapid economic growth in the region in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the need for social and cultural growth to accompany growing affluence in order to reflect an improvement to Malaysians’ standards of living saw the government allocating greater financial support to the encouragement of the arts, especially music. Music was introduced as a subject in the New Integrated Secondary School Curriculum in 1995, and a number of

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