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International Music Resources by Country: Malaysia

International Music Resources offers an array of online and physical resources both freely available and/or offered by the George F. DeVine Music Library. The information included in these guides may serve as a starting point for the study and research of


Malaysia City

Map of Malaysia

Map of Malaysia

Citation (1)

Coat of Arms

Coat of arms of Malaysia


Facts in Brief

Flag of Malaysia

Language: Malay, English

Religion: Islam

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Head Of Government: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia is separated into 13 states and 3 federal territories. The climate is tropical. Peninsular Malaysia is divided into east and west by the Titiwangsa Mountains.

Citation (2)

Traditional Music

Rebana         Gedombak  

Rebana Drum with metal detailing      Gedombak- Usually played across the musician’s lap

“Types of indigenous Malay music are many and varied and reflect the character of the various regions on the Malay peninsula from which they come. The northern states of Kelantan, Kedah and Trengganu maintain rich musical, dance and theatrical traditions, while the southern states and particularly those on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia show a strong bias towards Western European performing arts. Traditional music consists of folk, classical (or court) and syncretic types. Much of the traditional music is associated with drama and dance, and there is also a largely undocumented tradition of vocal music.”

Citation (3)

Ronggeng is a social dance that combines four-line sung verses with a violin, gong, accordion, or rebana. It is featured in Malaysian dance halls and is commonly performed for weddings. Each variation of the dance is categorized by rhythmic patterns. 

Citation (4)


Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo is a Malaysian fashion designer. His father was a shoemaker and that inspired him to pursue fashion. He emigrated to London where he opened his first shop which caught the eye of Vogue and Princess Diana. He then founded the company Jimmy Choo with his niece which is now one of the most popular luxury brands. 

Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra is based in Kuala Lumpur and is considered to be one of Asia’s leading orchestras. The current conductor is Gerard Salonga.

 Kinabalu Park

Kinabalu National Park is one of the four UNESCO World Heritage sites found in Malaysia. World Heritage sites have international "cultural and natural heritage considered to be of outstanding value to humanity."

 Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is Malayasia’s tallest mountain, standing at 4,095 m (13,435 ft) high.

Burasa   Roti Canai

Indonesian cuisine is heavily influenced by China, India, and Malay cultures. Burasa is an Indonesian rice dumpling that is cooked with coconut milk and wrapped inside a banana leaf pouch. Roti canai is an Indian bread but is a staple in the diet of Malaysia.

Malayan Tiger  Clouded leopard Dumeril's monitor


Malaysia is megadiverse, containing a large number of different animal species. Many of these species are endemic, or found only in one region of the world. Examples are the Malayan Tiger, Clouded Leopard, and Dumeril Monitor (shown above).


(1) Leinbach, T. R. , Lockard, . Craig A. , Ahmad, . Zakaria Bin and Bee, . Ooi Jin (2024, February 22). Malaysia. Encyclopedia Britannica.

(2) Leinbach, T. R. , Lockard, . Craig A. , Ahmad, . Zakaria Bin and Bee, . Ooi Jin (2024, February 22). Malaysia. Encyclopedia Britannica.

(3) Dobbs, Jack Percival Baker, Patricia Matusky, Ivan Polunin, Tanya Polunin, Virginia Gorlinski, and Patricia Samson. "Malaysia, Federation of." Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 15 Feb. 2024.

(4) Dobbs, J., Matusky, P., Polunin, I., Polunin, T., Gorlinski, V., & Samson, P. (2001). Malaysia, Federation of. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 19 Feb. 2024