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On the island of Timor and its surrounding areas, a large number of palmyra trees are found growing by nature in the wild, though some other trees don�t grow very well in that area. It�s not surprising, thus, that the Timorese citizenry depend mostly upon the palmyra as their living, also as on the ocean. Most every part from the palmyra tree is used someways to support their daily lives. Its young yield is consumed; its sap is used to get palm/brown sugar, fresh drinks and alcoholic drinks; its roots are used for medication; its trunk and branches are used for building materials; and its leaves are used to create a lot of varieties of handcrafts: water buckets, water scoops, hats, sandals, roof of homes, and the strangest, as creating resonator of the traditional instrument, the sasando.

There are 2 types of sasando ensemble. The 1st is used by the citizenry from Rote Island, the 2d by the Sabu Island community. Rote Island is located close to Southeast Timor. In the Rote community, playing of the sasando is played along by singing and a little drum. In the Sabu community, however, 2 sasando are played collectively with a vocal part just without a drum.

The sasando consists of a body made up by a hollow piece of bamboo, with a woody head and foot. The previous variant of the sasando has ten strings, stretched along from the head to foot, and tightened at both ends with nails. The nails at the head could also be moved around to set the tuning by altering the tension of the strings. This sound source sits inside a semi-spherical resonator created from leaves of the palmyra tree. A small sasando can be thirty centimetre wide, though a large one may be fifty centimetre long and thirty centimetre wide.

There are two tuning schemes used in sasando music, both of which are pentatonic. The 1st, practiced by the citizenry of Rote Island consists of notes which are same to: c�e�f�g�b�c of west scale. The 2nd (the sasando of Sabu Island)consists of notes which are similar to: c�d�e�g�a�c of west scale.

Sasando music is used within the Timorese community for whole varieties of social events, such to celebrate the birth of infant, a marriage ceremony or death. On these occasions, the sasando is played to add the atmosphere, the euphony performed being chosen in accordance with the nature of the festivity. Since celebrations to mark the birth of a baby or marriage ceremony, happy, lively music is did, when for celebrations held in connection with a funeral, sad music and music of cheering nature is played to console table the family who have got the loss of a beloved.


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