Get to know! 14 Types of Mollucas Musical Instruments Complete with Pictures

Mollucas or Maluku is one of the areas in eastern Indonesia, which is quite attractive to tourists. The fact is Maluku has variety of arts, one of which comes from the art of music.

Maluku musical instruments are of quite various types, and can be found easily if we are on vacation there. However, so you can find out first, here we have summarized the types of Maluku musical instruments for you. Hopefully useful, yes.

Description and Pictures of Maluku Musical Instruments

1. Arababu

Arababu is a stringed musical instrument made of wood, shell, or bamboo. At first glance, this instrument is similar to the Rabab from West Java, except that Arababu only has single strings. Unfortunately, for now Arababu is rarely used anymore.

2. Gong Totobuang

As the name suggests, Gong Totobuang is not much different from Gong from Java. What is different is the size, in which Gong Totobuang has a smaller dimension. Generally, this musical instrument is played with other instruments, such as Tifa and Tifa Totobuang.

This equipment is made of brass, with a concave shape. To play it, it is done by tapping or being hit using wood that has been covered with cloth or rubber at the ends. Generally, in one performance, this tool can amount to 12 to 14 pieces.

3. Idiokordo

Idiokordo, or better known as Tatabuhan in Maluku, is a traditional musical instrument similar to the Javanese Siter. The way to play it is not much different, that is, both are picked. This equipment is made of wood, with ornate carvings on the outside.

In an Idiokordo instrument, it is equipped with 4 strings. Unfortunately, this instrument is rarely found today, because it is only used in official traditional ceremonies.

4. Ukulele

In fact, the ukulele is not a native musical instrument from Maluku. It’s just that this tool is often used in Maluku because it functions similarly to a guitar. Just like the guitar, the ukulele is played by picking the strings. This instrument is mainly used in keroncong music.

This musical instrument began to enter the Maluku region in the 15th century AD. Unfortunately, with the times, the use of the Ukulele has begun to get rid of. Because, now there is a Hawaiian musical instrument that uses electric technology.

5. Tifa Maluku

Not only in Papua, Tifa also develops in the Maluku region with its various diversity. Some are slender and long, and some are round and widened. This musical instrument is a traditional rhythmic musical instrument, which is widely used as a traditional dance accompaniment.

To play Tifa Maluku, it is enough to be hit or tapped, just like Tifa Papua. It’s just that, Tifa Maluku does not have a pattern or motif on its body, while the Tifa Papua is equipped with distinctive decorative patterns.

6. Rumba

Rumba is a type of rhythmic musical instrument, which belongs to the category of percussion instruments. The Rumba musical instrument is actually not native to Maluku, it is possible that there used to be traders from Spain and Portugal who brought it to Ambon.

Rumba is made with 3 main ingredients. For the head, it is made of coconut shell so that it looks round. For the inside, filled with coarse sand and gravel. Meanwhile, the handle is made of wood with a cylindrical shape.

The way to play it is by shaking this instrument. Generally, Rumba is used to accompany dance songs and is played together with the Ukulele.

7. Tifa Totobuang

Tifa Totobuang are 2 pieces of traditional Maluku musical instruments, which are played simultaneously. Tifa is a musical instrument that is played by tapping or being hit, similar to a drum that has a layer of skin to be tapped.

While the totobuang is a type of melodic musical instrument, which is similar to a gong, but smaller in size and arranged according to their respective tones.

Even though they both have different backgrounds, when combined, they produce a beautiful harmonization of sounds. For this reason, Tifa and Totobuang are often played simultaneously.

8. Suling Melintang

Flute Melintang is a musical instrument that can be played by more than 3 people simultaneously. In Maluku, this instrument is better known as the Floit, and produces notes in the form of chords of sound 1, 2, 3, and 4 when played together.

To play it, just blow it, so it produces a variety of sounds from soprano, tenor, alto, and bass. Suling Melintang is made of bamboo-like material, where the other end is attached with a baffle, with 6 tone holes and 1 blow hole.

9. Gong Sedang

Gong Sedang is a musical instrument made of brass and is decorated with a motif of 2 dragons. This instrument is widely used to accompany traditional dances, such as the Cakalele dance.

10. Jukulele

Jukulele is a typical Maluku musical instrument made of wood and animal skins. This instrument is included in the category of stringed musical instruments with 4 strings. In the past, Jukulele was made from wood. However, the people of Maluku then modified the resonance space by replacing it with coconut shell material. Generally, Jukulele is used as accompaniment for Keroncong, Hawaiian, and so on.

11. Suling Paruh

This flute musical instrument, made from a piece of bamboo with one end slanted to resemble a beak. This side is usually used for the place to blow the Beak Flute. Usually, the Sawat Paruh musical instrument is often used as an accompaniment to Sawat’s music.

12. Leko Boko/Bijol

Leko Boko is a type of stringed musical instrument that is often found in North Maluku. To play a musical instrument made of wood is quite easy, similar to using a guitar. These traditional Maluku instruments are often used to accompany traditional rituals.

13. Tahuri

Tahuri is made from bia or shellfish, to accompany traditional Maluku dances, such as the Cakalele Dance. This instrument can be found in coastal areas, especially in Bere-Bere Village, which produces a lot of this Tahuri musical instrument.

14. Bambu Hitada

Hitada bamboo is widely used in the Halmahera area, especially during traditional ceremonies. How to play this instrument is quite easy, because it is only stomped to the ground. Generally, one person will hold 1 or 2 Hitada Bamboo of different sizes. Then these bamboos will be played so that they produce a pleasant sound.


So earlier, an interesting review about the Maluku musical instrument. You can also enjoy this kind of information about national culture on the portal This site provides various complete reviews of Indonesian culture i.e. articles about Tari Tradisional, Tari Kipas, Tari Piring, and many other traditional dances.

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