cikala le pong pong (ssaa)

Catalog ID: S-420
Translation: imitates the sound of a drum
First Line: cikala le pong pong, Ue merbuah si nangka bari le oe
Composer: Ken Stevens ed. Toh Ban Sheng
Author: traditional
Voicing: ssaa
Accompaniment: a cappella
Language: pakpaknese
Country: indonesia
Series: Toh Ban Sheng Choral Series
Other: new 2016, women, girls, asia
Sound: No audio clip available


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Cikala le Pong Pong is a Pakpaknese folksong from North Sumatra, Indonesia. Today, this song is more commonly performed at wedding celebrations, and opening ceremony and cultural events in the region. It is often accompanied by tradition dancing.

The text of the song describe “elders” (parents) advising their daughters to behave well and act lady-like, since girls today appear more aggressive than boys. The exception to this is the line Kade mo lemlem pagemu Pucuk bincoli mo kabir-kabiren, which has no meaning and was written to rhyme with the proceeding line of text.

By incorporating percussive effects such as foot stomping, clapping, snapping, and utilizing extreme vocal ranges through glissandi, the arranger has recreated the energetic, fun, and light-hearted atmosphere inherent in the song.

Singers are encouraged to use open-throat chest voice—especially in the low and mid registers—to capture the color of a vibrant tribal folk sound. The distinct change of vocal color and rhythmic rigor in this work promises sustained interest for young singers and promises to serve as an energetic addition to any performance program.

A performance of this piece by the Crescent Girls' Choir and conducted by Toh Ban Sheng can be viewed at


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