Tifa Musical Instrument: History, Functions, and Facts

Tifa Musical Instruments – Indonesia is well known for its various cultures, one of which is traditional musical instruments. Every traditional musical instrument in an area certainly has its own uniqueness, one of which is the tifa instrument.

For some people, maybe they don’t know this musical instrument that comes from eastern Indonesia. To find out more about the tifa musical instrument, then you can see this article, Sinaumed’s.

Tifa Musical Instrument

Tifa is a musical instrument typical of eastern Indonesia, especially from Maluku and Papua. This musical instrument has a shape that resembles a drum and is made of wood with a hole punched in the middle. Once hollowed out, then covered with animal skin (usually deer skin). That way, when this instrument is played by being hit it can produce a good and beautiful sound.

The tifa musical instrument itself has several types, such as Tifa Jekir, Tifa Dasar, Tifa Pieces, Tifa Jekir Cut and Tifa Bas. Meanwhile, the shape of the tifa musical instrument is usually made with carvings typical of the region. The frame body is also made of wood covered with rattan as a binder with different shapes depending on the region of origin. What’s more, the tifa musical instrument from one region to another is not necessarily the same or can be said to have its own characteristics.

Tifa musical instruments are generally used to accompany war dances as well as several other regional dances. As for the arts that usually use the tifa musical instrument as accompaniment, such as the Lenso dance from Maluku which is also accompanied by the totoboom musical instrument, the traditional dance of the Asmat tribe and the Gatsi dance.

In Maluku, this drum is known as Tahitoe and is usually played in Central Maluku. Meanwhile, on Aru Island, the tifa instrument is known as Titir.

The Myth of the Tifa Musical Instrument

The origins of tifa are inseparable from myths among the people of the interior of Papua.

That said, there were two brothers from Papua named Fraimun and Saran Pay. They went on an adventure and left the sinking village. Then, they chose to settle in Wamp Ender, North Biak. While hunting at night, the two brothers found an opsur tree, a tree that makes a sound in the middle of the forest.

The next day, when they returned to the tree to find out where the sound was coming from, they found honey bees, monitor lizards, soa-soa and other animals living in the tree.

Until finally, they decided to cut down the tree and remove the middle by using a long iron where the ends had been made sharp. Then, the part of the tree that has been hollowed out is made to look like a pipe. This is done so that the perforated tree looks neat.

Initially, the younger brother intended to cover one side using the skin of his older brother’s thigh, but because it would hurt his older brother they finally decided to use soa-soa skin. The way to catch soa-soa is also quite unique, they don’t just catch them, but instead call the animals using the Biak language.

” Hey, napiri Bo.. “. For some reason this animal seems to understand and understand and come to both of them just like that. Soa-soa was then killed and skinned, then the skin was used to cover one of the surfaces of a wooden hole, and the result was a drum instrument as we know it today.

Functions of the Tifa Musical Instrument

Tifa musical instrument is usually known by many people as musical accompaniment only. With the addition of this musical instrument, the sound produced can be heard by many people.

In addition, tifa can also be regarded as one of the mandatory musical instruments used in a traditional ceremony, especially traditional ceremonies held by the people of Papua and Maluku. Tifa as a rhythmic musical instrument is very decisive in being able to produce percussion sounds which will make the ritual atmosphere more solemn.

Not only that, the type of tifa used must also be adapted to the dances and songs in the ritual, because the sound produced will affect the dance movements.

Tifa drummers and other musical instruments in traditional ceremonies themselves may only be performed by adult men. This is because they are considered as strong leaders and deserve to play ritual music. Not everyone may play tifa in rituals, there are a series of procedures that must be carried out to obtain permission from traditional elders or the surrounding community.

See also  [Easy] 4 Ways to Find Main and Supporting Ideas

Until now, traditional women are still prohibited from playing this instrument. The rules for playing tifa in rituals have also been passed down from generation to generation and continue to be maintained. In addition, the tifa musical instrument is a musical instrument that must be played when a person is pregnant, gives birth, and when a child grows up, as well as when someone dies.

Therefore, until now, the Tifa musical instrument is still widely used to accompany various traditional ceremonies.

Stages of Making Tifa Musical Instruments

The tifa musical instrument is also a traditional musical instrument typical of eastern Indonesia, especially in Maluku and Papua. If observed at a glance, this drum has a shape that is almost the same as a drum in which a hole is made in the middle.

The Tifa musical instrument itself is a musical instrument that is usually played by the Asmat tribe. This tribal group is also known for their ability and shrewdness in playing the Tifa musical instrument.

The steps in making a Tifa musical instrument are as follows.

1. Selection of Tree Types

Choose a quality lingua tree, which is then felled and cut according to the desired size. Linggua wood is also made to resemble the shape of a drum. However, the size and height are different. The height of this Tifa musical instrument itself is adjusted to the type and origin of manufacture.

2. Emptying of Wood Contents

After forming the linggua wood according to the height and size. This wood is then made like a tube, where in the middle of this wood is hollowed out and emptied. The purpose of punching a hole in the middle is to make a loud sound when hit. The process of emptying the contents of the wood does not take long because it uses a special tool to make each process easier.

3. Drying of Animal Skins

At this stage, the wood that has been shaped and perforated will then be covered at the bottom end and at the end of this musical instrument it is usually covered with animal skin, generally deer skin is used. In certain areas, the cover of this drum instrument uses soa-soa or monitor lizard skin that has been dried before.

4. Installation of the Tifa Cover

After finishing drying the animal skin used to cover this musical instrument, the next step is that the animal skin is then heated. The goal is that the animal’s skin is pulled tight. According to the craftsmen of the tifa musical instrument, the drier the animal’s skin, the better the sound it produces, which is louder and stronger. After drying, then the installation of the tifa cover is carried out.

5. Engraving Tifa Musical Instruments

Finished closing the end of the musical instrument, the last part is to give a touch of art. The art of decorating tifa is generally adapted to the area where it is made.

Facts About Tifa

There are several interesting facts about this tifa musical instrument. For more details, here are some facts about the tifa musical instrument.

Its shape resembles a drum

Either tifa or gendang, both do look very similar to the shape that resembles an hourglass. At the bottom of this instrument that is left open, and the top is covered with animal skin. The difference is, if the drum is made of cow or goat skin, then the tifa is made of deer skin.

Self-made by the Asmat Tribe, Papua

In the center of the tifa there is a handle which is generally beautifully measured. The tifa musical instrument itself is quite famous throughout the world because it is made of wood carved by the Asmat tribe. The Papuan Asmat tribe is known to be able to produce unique wood carvings with extraordinary shapes and lines.

Have an Aesthetic Engraving or Sculpture

The tifa musical instrument made by the Asmat tribe has fantastic carvings, from the bottom to the top. Generally, the tifa musical instrument is made of wood filled with terracotta red, black, and white carvings. You yourself will be amazed when you see the beautiful carvings of the Asmat Papuan tribe.

Carving on Tifa Reflects Many Meanings

Another unique fact about tifa is that all the carvings or carvings on this musical instrument have meanings and philosophies that are unique to the people of Papua. So, the carvings on the tifa will then be differentiated according to their social status in the Asmat tribe.

That means, the carving on the tifa belongs to the chief who will be different from ordinary people. So, just by looking at the sculptures or carvings on the tifa’s body, people will easily see their social status.

Made from Papua Swamp Forest Trees

So, the material for making tifa itself comes from black wood which is only found in the swamp forests of the Papua region. A tifa is usually available in various sizes, ranging from a short one about 30 cm to a long one about 150 cm – 200 cm.

See also  Know the Properties of Organic and Inorganic Chemical Compounds


Tifa can basically be found in Papua and Maluku. However, it turns out that the Papuan people prefer to use this one musical instrument. In addition, there are striking differences between tifa forms from Papua and Maluku.

The difference lies in the handle on the side. Tifa from Papua has a handle on its side, while tifa from Maluku does not have a handle on its side. In addition there are four types of tifa musical instruments, which you need to know include tifa jekir, tifa cut, tifa bass, and tifa. All of these types are then determined based on regional origin and their respective characteristics.

The basic material of tifa is Linggua wood because this type of wood is believed to have very good quality, is thick and strong. Apart from that, there is also tifa made of local Papuan wood, namely milk wood. This type of wood itself can only be found in the wilderness and is made into tifa through a series of special manufacturing processes. After emptying the inside of the wood, one side of the tifa will generally be covered with animal skin, monitor lizards, soa-soa, or deer. After that, the skin will be tied to the tifa with rattan in a circle.

If you want to find books about music, then you can find them at sinaumedia.com . To support Sinaumed’s in adding insight, sinaumedia always provides quality and original books so that Sinaumed’s has #MoreWithReading information .

Author: Sofyan
Source: from various sources

Books Related to Tifa Musical Instruments

Music Psychology

Psychology and musicology are two branches of old science, one studying human behavior and the other explaining the results/products of that behavior. The two elements are in principle inseparable because there have been many interdisciplinary studies whose results have made a positive contribution to everyday life. Therefore, the author seeks to disseminate music psychology as a relatively new knowledge in Indonesia to various groups. The author does not intend to describe the entire field of music psychology in detail because the discussion of each topic requires its own deepening. Therefore, this book only summarizes some of the main and actual topics in the field of music psychology.

In addition, the author specifically pays attention to psychological and musical issues which are very relevant to be studied and benefited from. This Music Psychology book is an initial discourse with the aim of providing standard information and as a stimulant for readers, both lecturers, students, researchers, and anyone who has an interest in learning and conducting further research. Apart from being a reference book for psychology and music experts, this book can be a basis for knowledge of music psychology with various theoretical approaches towards applied practice. The author hopes that in the future the field of music psychology in Indonesia with material objects based on archipelago philosophy can complement broader sociohumanities knowledge.

365 Reflections From the World of Music

A year-round diary full of valuable lessons for music lovers of all ages. Through this book readers can learn from the successes and failures of musicians such as Paul McCartney, JS Bach, Duke Ellington, Steven Curtis Chapman, and many others. Each piece focuses on an event or a person in the history of music, then the main thoughts are related to basic Christian truths that will help readers grow spiritually.

The Influence of Indonesian Music on 20th Century French Music

The Influence of Indonesian Music on 20th Century French Music – The 1889 WORLD EXHIBITION in Paris was the first European encounter with Javanese music. Their fascination with the East had existed for a long time and the major exhibitions, which were held repeatedly throughout the 19th century, accentuated this passionate interest. People can finally see, hear, feel, touch the East World which so far has seemed to be a myth. It is generally accepted that Debussy was heavily influenced by the Javanese music he heard at the 1889 exhibition.

In order to understand how Debussy came to experience Javanese music at the 1889 World’s Fair, we will consider some audience reactions that will help to identify the mentality of people at the end of the 19th century. Then we will examine his work to show various aspects that we think are related to Javanese music. This analysis will show the undeniable influence of the gamelan on the way in which musical phenomena are defined. Debussy opened a gap, and many French musicians would also infiltrate through the gap. Like its predecessors, gradually the next generation of musicians will discover and exploit the beauty of Javanese, Balinese and other Indonesian music.

why? Musical Instrument & Sound – Musical Instruments & Sound

1894. Hitting the piano keys softly, strumming the violins beautifully, pounding the drums passionately. But, do you know how these musical instruments produce sound? Pianos produce sound when keys are pressed by making hammers strike the strings, violins produce sound by harnessing the frictional forces of the strings and bows, and drums produce sound by amplifying the vibrations of a thin membrane. Besides these three musical instruments, there are many other musical instruments. Come on, let’s go on a journey to find hidden science in various musical instruments.

Also read: