The Uniqueness of Arababu in the traditional music of Ternate – The melodious sound is so loud that it is heard singing traditional Ternate songs. A kind of stringed instrument seems to be playing to accompany the song whistle in the middle of today. A musician sits casually while playing the instrument. At first glance this instrument looks like a combination of fiddle that originates from West Java, but looks simpler and slightly smaller.

Arababu is a native Moluccan musical instrument that is indeed shaped like a Trigon. According to some historical literature, this musical instrument developed in Maluku after being brought by Arab traders long before the 16th century. At first, what was brought by Arab traders was the same as the Rebab that we now know in a combination of Javanese gamelan instruments, but the instrument developed rapidly among local residents and experienced modifications to become Arababu.

Arababu is a melodic musical instrument that is played by swiping. This instrument only has one string, unlike a Rebab which generally has 2 strings. In addition, Arababu has a holding rod from bamboo and a resonance tube from half the coconut shell. For sound, Arabic is no less melodious with fiddle, it’s just that in the size of the shape this instrument looks smaller. The Arabic friction tool is basically the same as the arc-shaped and 1-stringed Trigger, only for the size adjusting the smaller Arabian size.

This unique musical instrument is usually played in groups with other North Maluku musical instruments such as Tifa, Gong or Fuk-fuk. Arabic gives a thick Malay-Arabic nuance in North Maluku music. Usually, singing the Arababu player sings and enliven the songs that are sung. Generally, the songs tell stories about daily life, prayers and various spells to cure illness.

Along with the development of the era, now Arababu also experienced many modifications. Some Arababu musicians still maintain the original form of this beautiful instrument, but many other musicians have added loudspeakers so that this instrument can be played with a modern sound system. However, the authenticity of Arababu cannot be modified in any way. Sounds and auras that emanate from the rhythm of this musical instrument have characteristics that cannot be matched by any musical instrument. Now, Arababu is still played only on certain occasions, but this tool is still struggling to survive among the modernization of other musical instruments.

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