Malay Music Ensemble with Sri Mahligai

About the programme

Spanning an area of more than 2.8 million km2 and populated by over 250 million people, the Malay Archipelago covers a vast land area. Likewise, its traditional music spans a very wide spectrum. Don’t miss this session with traditional Malay musician and arts educator, Ariffin Abdullah, who will be sharing interesting stories on the aesthetic, philosophy, socio-economic and geopolitical history of the region through its music. Participants will also get to play the fascinating interlocking rhythms of the kompang, a traditional Malay hand drum during the session!

Book your tickets

Select a date on this calendar now!


Date and Time

Programme Details



Ticket Price

S$30 (excluding eventbrite service fee)
Meeting Point
Entrance of Museum @ My Queenstown (46-3 Commonwealth Drive #01-388 Singapore 140463)


Dress appropriately (i.e. casual with covered shoes). Masks are mandatory. Bring along hand sanitisers.

Participants must abide by the house rules set out by the host (eg. out-of-bound areas, use of toilet). Facilitators will brief participants before the start of the programme.

Please arrive 20 minutes before our scheduled meeting time for registration and temperature taking.

Please do not attend the event if you are feeling unwell.

Look out for our facilitators who will be wearing yellow or blue festival t-shirts.

Meet Mr Ariffin!

Hello everyone, I am Mr Ariffin, the founder of Sri Mahligai! I started off playing pop-rock music during the 1980s and I had never considered performing traditional Malay music. Even when I was introduced to it in 1988, I did not fall in love with it immediately and it took almost 6 years for me to make the full switch from the electric guitar to the mandolin.

Somehow, today, I am an active advocate for traditional Malay music. I think this change came about because I realised how much traditional Malay music meant to me and my community. Today, my goal is to remove the ‘traditional’ in traditional Malay music and revive its contemporary significance. I look forward to seeing everyone during MCF2021 to share my stories and for you to join me in my journey to keep traditional Malay music alive!

More about Sri Mahligai

Sri Mahligai was founded in 2000 to address the vanishing art of traditional Malay music in Singapore. According to Mr Ariffin, Sri means ‘grand’ while Mahligai refers to ‘palace’, reflecting how the group typically performs at social functions and occasions such as weddings and festivals.

The ensemble plays a wide repertoire of Malay traditional music including the dondang sayang, asli and zapin. Mr Ariffin is also the Festival Director of Gemadah – Malay Traditional Music Festival, Singapore’s first ever traditional Malay music festival in collaboration with the Esplanade @ Theatres on the Bay where local traditional Malay music groups collaborate and showcase their craft.

Besides performing, the group is a major advocate for traditional Malay music in Singapore, working ceaselessly to nurture new performing arts groups and further their vision of bringing traditional Malay music to remain relevant in the contemporary music scene.