19 Kinds of Traditional Musical Instruments from North Sumatra [+Explanations]

North Sumatra is known to have a strong tradition, which has been passed down from the ancestors. Therefore, even though the indigenous people of North Sumatra have migrated to various regions, their blood from North Sumatra is still carried over to the overseas.

Well, one of these cultures is a traditional musical instrument from North Sumatra. The following are the types of musical instruments, which we have also discussed regarding the manufacturing materials and how to use them. Therefore, of course it will be interesting if you read it.

North Sumatra Traditional Musical Instruments and Pictures

1. Doli-doli

Doli-doli, or what is also known as Kolintang, is a musical instrument similar to Angklung from West Java. It’s just that, how to hold and play it is very different. This instrument is made from 4 wooden slats and is played by blowing it.

If you want to enjoy the strains of Doli-doli, you can find it directly on Nias. But, if you want to learn about other regional cultures, just visit You can learn Tari Remo and so on.

2. Aramba

Aramba is a type of traditional musical instrument from Nias which is often played in wedding ceremonies. This musical instrument is made using bronze metal or brass copper. A music player simply hits the protruding part in the middle, causing a sound. In musical performances, this round instrument is usually placed in a hanging position.

3. Druri Dana

Druri Dana is classified as a musical instrument that is played by beating. To make it, it takes the main material from wood or bamboo. Well, Druri Dana can only produce sound if the bamboos are smashed into each other, similar to the working principle of West Java Angklung.

4. Garantung

The Toba Batak people have a musical instrument called Garantung. This instrument is made of wood to make 5 notes. Generally, these bars are used to play melodies. A music player, must use 2 sticks in the right and left hand to play it.

5. Gonrang

Gonrang is a musical instrument originating from Simalungun, which is usually played in traditional ceremonies as well as for people’s entertainment. This instrument consists of a variety of different musical instruments, each of which plays its own role.

6. Faritia

Faritia is an idiophone type musical instrument from Nias, made of brass or metal. At first glance, Faratia seems to have the same form with Gamelan from Java and Talempong from Padang. This instrument is round in shape, with a thickness of 4 cm and a diameter of 23 cm. A music player must hit this Fatia using a special bat to produce sound.

7. Gordang

Gordang is a kind of drum musical instrument, which is played as a rhythm regulator in musical performances. Generally, Gordang is composed of 9 large drums, which are neatly arranged. Musical instruments that are played by being beaten, are usually performed at weddings and deaths.

8. Hapetan (Hasapi)

Hapetan is a type of stringed musical instrument similar to a lute from the Tapanuli area. To play it is quite easy, because it is similar to the traditional gitas game from Tapanuli with 2 strings.

9. Ole-Ole

Ole-Ole is a type of wind instrument, whose body is made of rice stalks and the resonator is from enau or coconut leaves. Generally, this simple musical instrument is often played solo, for personal entertainment.

10. Panggora

Panggora is a musical instrument that is similar to Gong, it’s just that the sound it produces is quite unique. This uniqueness occurs because Panggora is hit with a stick, then after the sound appears, it will be muted by hand. Panggora is made of bronze or brass, with a thickness of 6 cm and a diameter of 37 cm.

11. Gendang Singanaki

The Singanaki drum is a musical instrument that is often used as a rhythm regulator for musical ensembles. To make it, it takes wood and pieces of animal skin. Usually, the instruments that are played by being hit are often held on the occasion of religious ceremonies.

12. Gendang Sisibah (Pakpak)

The Sisibah drum is a musical instrument consisting of 9 drums. Generally, this musical instrument is played by being hit with a wooden instrument. This musical instrument is often played in the Pakpak area, both for joy and sorrow events.

13. Gung dan Penganak

Gung and Penganak are two types of musical instruments from North Sumatra, which are categorized as idiophone instruments. What makes it different from other types of gongs is because of its large size. The gong from the Batak has a diameter of 68 cm, while the panganak is 16 cm in diameter. Both are made of brass, with wooden beaters called hammers.

14. Sarune Bolon

Sarune Bolon is a typical Toba Batak musical instrument, which is made of metal. This equipment has 6 tone holes, which are used to accompany the melody. Sarune Bolon is also one of the Gondang Sabangunan devices, which are combined with Ogung, Taganing, Hesek, Gondang, and Adap.

15. Taganing

Taganing is a traditional Toba Batak musical instrument, which is composed of 5 drums. Usually, this one musical instrument functions as a rhythm regulator in the singing of regional songs. To play it, it takes 2 music players, each holding a stick. The arrangement of these drums, the smaller the drum, but produces a high sound.

16. Balobat

Balobat is a traditional Karo musical instrument, which looks like a flute. These instruments can be played solo or in groups with an ensemble. To make it, it takes material from a bamboo shoot, the size of a finger inch. This tool has 6 holes for producing tones, both major and minor notes.

17. Gendang Singindungi

The Singindung drum is very similar to the Singanaki drum, both in size, shape, material, and how to make it. However, this Sing Protect Drum does not have a Gerantung, which is a mini drum, which is usually tied to the Singanaki drum. Uniquely, the Sing Protected Drum can produce an up and down sound through certain techniques, which Gendang Singanaki does not have.

18. Fondrahi

Fondrahi is a kind of small drum musical instrument, which was used for religious rituals when making offerings to gods in Nias. As time goes by, this ritual is now starting to be abandoned. Even this musical instrument is now often played in regional art performances. To make this Fondrahi, it takes material from goat or cow skin, as well as wood with a hole.

19. Lagia

In shape, Lagia is quite similar to a violin or a rebab. What makes it different is by playing it on the ground, then rubbing it. Lagia can be enjoyed when the Nias people art festival is held.


Thus the end of the review that we have compiled. Hopefully, the summary of traditional North Sumatra musical instruments above can add insight to all readers.