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Balai Nobat
Malaysia - Kedah

Balai Nobat

Balai Nobat

Balai Nobat



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 Balai Nobat is located along Jalan Pekan Melayu, just a short distance from Balai Besar, and across the road from Bangunan Jam Besar, the Clock Tower in the middle of the city of Alor Star.
The original Balai Nobat was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah, who reigned from 1854 to 1879. It had five floors and was constructed of stone and metal. During the renovation in 1906, it was reduced to three storeys. The Balai Nobat is topped with an Islamic-style dome.

Balai Nobat belongs to the old Sultanate of Kedah. The Hall features the Nobat, the instruments of the royal orchestra. It comprises drums, gongs and a traditional flute. These instruments are played on special ceremonial occasions only. The musical skills of the Nobat are generally passed on from father to son.

The nine types of musical instruments are Nahara, two Gendang Besar, one Gong, one Nafiri, two serunai, two cheng cheng which made from bronze and there is one big cheng cheng and one small cheng cheng.

People believes that the tradition of Nobat comes from Parsi but those musical instruments being modified to suit the local musical instruments and those musical instruments that related to Hindu's religion. The music that produces by those nine musical instruments is very similar to Hindu's music. Because of this, 2 of the musical instruments were removed from the original combination.

The Nobat is the symbol of power and greatness for the kings at that time. It also represents the greatness of the art of Hindu. The Nobat usually will be played during every Friday and every time before Muslims goes to pray. When the prince ascends the throne, the Nobat will also be played. During the funeral of the king, the Nobat will also being play in the funeral.

Getting there

Located at the heart of Alor Setar, one can easily drive there or take nearby taxi. Nearbay landmark is the Alor Star Tower.

Nobat Tower
05000 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

6.121015, 100.366627
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