"Unisonance" in Singing Malaysia's Popular Patriotic Music: The Platform of Integration Mobilising Interethnic Unity




Shazlin Amir Hamzah

Key Words

unisonance ; platform of integration ; popular patriotic songs ; moments of unity ; nation building


Southeast Asian Social Science Review

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

7卷1期(2022 / 05 / 01)

Page #

75 - 95

Content Language


Chinese Abstract

Music is a malleable means of shaping a nation's image - a conscious effort made by those who do recognise the power of music to enhance the nation. Songs like "Bahtera Merdeka" (Kassim Masdor, 1957), "Tanah Pusaka" (Ahmad Merican, 1964), "Malaysia Truly Asia" (Ahmad Nawab, 1999), "Standing in the Eyes of the World" (David Gates & Wah Idris, 1998) and more recently "Gemuruh" (Faizal Tahir, 2007) have embodied the nation, giving voice to its citizens and harmonising them in an emblematic unisonance. This singing together results in an emotionally overwhelming feeling of collective cohesion. Patriotic songs connect with the audience, symbolising for them a 'Malaysian-ness' that can be transformed into highly nationalistic moments of unity. This presentation discusses findings surrounding data drawn from a research focusing on respondent's reactions towards popular patriotic songs. Findings suggest that Malaysians enjoy singing patriotic songs together as they are a verbal way of manifesting nationalism for the country. It creates a moment of unisonance for them, a simultaneous and unanimous acknowledgement of the common symbol that signifies belonging and collective emotional commitment. Essentially, popular patriotic music is the platform of integration that brings people together in unisonance every single time.

Topic Category 人文學 > 人文學綜合
社會科學 > 社會科學綜合