Dondang Sayang, literally meaning ‘love ballad”, is a presentation accompanied by traditional and modern musical instruments.
Dondang Sayang is believed to have originated from Malacca in the 15th century during the Malaccan Sultanate era. The songs inDondang Sayang are in the form of poetry (pantun). The skills and capability of the singers ( a male and a female) in exchanging extemporaneous pantun in a lighthearted and sometimes humorous style attract the interest of the audience.
Musical instruments used in Dondang Sayang include a violin, a gong and 2 or 3 drums (rebana). The violinist plays a primary role in introduction and in providing a counter melody to the vocal melody. The beating of the rebana alternating with the gong completes the Dondang Sayang.