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“Nasib Mak Kualon”

Audio
Nasib Mak Kualon

Usman Achmad, of the Abung people, of Lampung, Indonesia, sings this song of misfortune with a fixed text called "Mak Kualon," to the melody called nasib. It concerns a cruel stepmother who mistreats her stepson when they are alone but pretends to have affection for him when they are with her husband, the boy’s father. Usman Achmad plays the melody in the stem nasib tuning (E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4), the same as the standard Western tuning. The song is in A minor (actual pitch); it uses the seven tones of the European "harmonic minor" scale (A B C D E F G#) across nearly two octaves (E2 to C4), plus C# as a leading tone to D.

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