Bagaimana Cara Memainkan Sasando

>Hello Sohib EditorOnline, have you ever heard of a traditional instrument from East Nusa Tenggara called Sasando? Sasando is a string instrument that produces a unique and beautiful sound. In this article, we will discuss how to play Sasando. Let’s dive in!

What is Sasando?

Sasando is a traditional musical instrument from Rote Island, East Nusa Tenggara. It is made of bamboo and has 28-56 strings, although the most common Sasando has 32 strings. The strings are arranged like a fan and each string corresponds to a note. Sasando is played by plucking the strings using both hands.

The History of Sasando

The history of Sasando dates back to the 18th century. It is believed that Sasando was inspired by the sound of the wind, trees, and waves. The first Sasando was made by a man named Petrus Lami, who lived in Oenino village, Rote Island. Sasando soon became popular, and many musicians started to play Sasando in traditional events, such as weddings and funerals.

The Legend of Sasando

According to a legend, Sasando was created by a boy named Sangguana, who was stranded on Rote Island. Sangguana missed his home in heaven, where he used to listen to the beautiful sounds of harps and flutes played by angels. To overcome his homesickness, Sangguana created Sasando, which he believed could produce similar sounds to the instruments in heaven.

The Function of Sasando

Sasando is mainly used for traditional performances, such as folk songs, dances, and ceremonies. Sasando is also used as an accompaniment to the traditional Rote island dance called Tari Nggiring. Moreover, Sasando is used as a symbol of cultural identity of the Rote people.

How to Play Sasando

Tuning Sasando

The first step to playing Sasando is tuning the instrument. The tuning of Sasando is quite unique and is called Punggawai Keu. The Punggawai Keu is a sequence of 32 notes that correspond to the 32 strings on Sasando.

The tuning process starts with tuning the lowest note string first, which is the string placed at the bottom of Sasando. The lowest note string is tuned to F, followed by G, A, and so on.

Once all the strings are tuned, you should pluck the strings one by one to check the tuning. You can also use a tuning app on your smartphone to help you tune the strings accurately.

Playing Sasando

Now that you have tuned Sasando, it’s time to start playing. Here are the steps to playing Sasando:

  1. Sit down and place the Sasando on your lap, with the strings facing upwards.
  2. Use your left hand to press the strings against the bamboo frets, while your right hand plucks the strings using a plectrum.
  3. Start by plucking the lowest note string, and then move upward to the higher strings.
  4. You can play Sasando using various techniques such as arpeggio, tremolo, strumming, and chord progression.
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It’s important to practice playing Sasando regularly to improve your skills. You can also learn from a teacher or watch online Sasando tutorials to enhance your playing ability.


What is the meaning of Sasando?

Sasando is derived from the Rote language, which means “vibrating strings”.

What is the difference between Sasando and other string instruments?

Sasando is unique because it is made of bamboo instead of wood or metal. Sasando is also played by plucking the strings using both hands, unlike other string instruments that are played using either a bow or one hand.

Can Sasando be played solo or with other instruments?

Yes, Sasando can be played both solo and with other instruments. Sasando can be played alongside other traditional instruments from East Nusa Tenggara such as Kikir and Riok.

Is it hard to play Sasando?

Playing Sasando may be difficult for beginners because it requires both hands to pluck the strings. However, with regular practice, anyone can learn how to play Sasando.

Where can I buy Sasando?

You can buy Sasando online or visit traditional markets in East Nusa Tenggara. Sasando is also sold in souvenir shops in Bali and Jakarta.


Playing Sasando is not only a musical experience, but also a cultural one. Sasando has been a symbol of Rote Island’s cultural identity for centuries, and learning how to play Sasando is a way to preserve and promote this unique instrument. We hope this article has provided you with a comprehensive guide on how to play Sasando. Happy playing!

Bagaimana Cara Memainkan Sasando