Kedah - Balai Nobat

This building houses the sacred instruments of the Royal orchestra, played only during royal ceremonies such as inaugurations, weddings and funerals. The instruments consist of three drums, a gong and a flute, peculiar to the haunting srains of "nobat" music.

Balai Nobat is a ceremonial tower used to house instruments for playing nobat, the dirge for royal ceremonies. Among the instruments are the serunai, a wind instrument resembling the clarinet; the nafiri, a type of long trumpet; gendang, a drum in the form of a hollow cylinder with parchment stretched over its open sides; and the gong.

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.

How to go to Balai Nobat

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.

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