Sasando is a harp-like traditional music string instrument native the Rote Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Sasando is a string instrument which has no chord.
Sasando has a unique shape. A bamboo tube serves as the frame of the instrument. Surrounding the tube are several wooden wedges where the strings are stretched from the top to the bottom. The stringed bamboo tube is surrounded by a bag-like fan of dried lontar or palmyra leaves. Sasando can have 28 or 56 strings.
Sasando is played with both hands reaching into the strings of the tube through the opening on the front. The player’s fingers pluck the strings in way similar to playing a harp.
The various length of Sasando strings create unique sounds. It requires many hours of training and practicing to master this instrument.
Sasando is often played along with traditional songs, lyrics and dances. The traditional instrument is also known as an instrument to be played in the house of mourning.
Sasando can be played solo or as a part of an orchestra. Its unique and beautiful string sounds has attracted people not only locally but also internationally.
To preserve this unique music heritage, The Dreamhouse Indonesia Kupang started The Dreamhouse Sasando Studio in 2021. In this studio, street children are trainied to master Sasando, the unique instrument. Watch how the children play the Sasando through this link