Berthe was quite interested in music, and in the course of his work in Lamaknen he produced a great deal of recorded material, including many musical performances. The online repository of the French Centre de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie (CREM) contains two excellent archival collections of Berthe's unpublished field recordings from Timor:
Berthe collected over 970 material objects in his travels, including 9 musical instruments, all of which are now part of the permanent collection of the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in Paris, France. These latter are available for online viewing through the museum's website:
The State Library of South Australia has archived a collection of King’s audio recordings, including many from her travels in East Timor. The set is comprised of “a collection of reel to reel tapes, ranging from original field recordings taken during the first trip to Portuguese Timor, to recordings of lectures and interviews done in subsequent years” (State Library of South Australia 1961).
In her 1963 book Eden to Paradise, King includes a chapter on Music, Song, and Dance. The chapter begins with a challenge to the reader and would-be listener: “the musical life of the Timorese,” she says, “possesses a richness and complexity of structure and design surpassed only by their fine textiles. For the person fortunate to penetrate beyond the apparent monotonous repetition it provides a rare and rewarding experience” (130).
In this paper, King “describes and illustrates the Eagle Dance of At Sabe” (49), which she observed in her fieldwork in 1960-61. “The dance,” she writes, “is a mimed performance of the hunting and defence of nesting eagles," which simultaneously dramatizes the defence of Timor against attacking outsiders.
As with other members of the équipe Timor, the Campagnolos gathered several objects in their travels, and these are now archived at the musée du quai Branly in France. Among the 249 material objects in the Campagnolo archive are 24 musical instruments, some of which are indeed quite unique.
Clamagirand made over 200 audio recordings in the course of her two fieldwork engagements as a member of the équipe Timor, and many of these documented musical performances.
As with other members of the équipe Timor, Clamagirand gathered several objects in her travels, and these are now archived along with her notes at the musée du quai Branly in France.
The Campagnolos made several audio recordings in the course of their research, and many of these document musical performances. These recordings have never been published, but they are archived at the Centre de Recherche Ethnomusicologie, and a collection of 121 of their 1966 audio recordings is available for listening online at the Centre's website. [Click here to view CREM's Campagnolo Collection.]
Freidberg was married to the ethnographic researcher Louis Berthe, leader of the équipe Timor, and the two collaborated as part of the team in 1966, working with Bunaq communities in Lamaknen. They made several recordings in the course of their 1966 work, and 83 of these recordings are archived and publicly available at the Centre de Recherche Ethnomusicologie in the Louis Berthe collection.
Claudine Berthe-Friedberg helped to bring this posthumous work of Berthe’s to publication in 1972. In it, the two recount details of a number of Bunaq myths, offering transcriptions in Bunaq and translations into French. In terms of musical content, they very briefly discuss the important roles of Bunaq bards, called Lal Gomo, the "guardians of the customs and the genealogies" (49) [translation mine].
The third episode of Basile's Music of Outer Island Indonesia series explores Atoni music from West Timor.
Volumes 16 and 20 of the twenty-CD Music of Indonesia series feature recordings from Timor, gathered in two trips. The first trip was in 1993, to record Rotenese sasando and meko (gong-ensemble) in Kab. Kupang. The second was in 1997, to record Meto leku sene (gong-ensemble) in Kab. Timor Tengah Utara (TTU); Meto and Tetun accompaniment for the bidu dance in Kab. TTU and Belu; Tetun tebe lilin songs in Kab. Belu; and Bunaq tei (round dance) songs in Lamaknen, Belu.
Byrne contributed recordings and wrote liner notes for several of the tracks on Tata-hateke ba dok—Grandfather, looking for the future, a CD of Timorese music published by Tradisom records in 1998 as part of their Journey of Sounds series. The disc includes a very diverse collection of recordings of both traditional and contemporary (to 1998) music.
Basile has also authored encyclopedia articles on West Timor for both the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music and Grove Music Online. Both articles focus on the musical traditions of the Atoni, including the "ritually significant sene tufu (gong and drum) ensemble,” and koa, “a type of song in which the singer rhythmically speaks the text to musical accompaniment, a style that younger Atoni compare with rap” (Yampolsky et. al, 1998).
Tatoli Ba Kultura documented many musical performances, and there are at least twenty videos available online through youtube. Videos features short descriptions of instruments and playing techniques, as well as basic details about when and where the piece was recorded.
My research in Timor-Leste, which led to my full-time preoccupation with Timor, began by accident. In July 2011, the government of Timor-Leste launched its Akademia Arte no Indústria Kriativa with a festival and symposium. Out of the blue, one of the organizers of the event, David Palazón, invited me to come and speak at the symposium1 and he offered some money for me to travel around for a week or so afterwards, accompanied by a photographer. Intrigued, I went. But I had no research plan, so I didn’t know where to travel to.
Researchers from MHI documented seven musical instruments used by Fataluku people, including six wind instruments and one percussion instrument. Wind instruments include a bamboo flute called oi-oil (played singly or doubly); two types of bamboo trumpets called keko and fara-fara; an oboe-like instrument called a moto me’n-me’n; a bamboo string-pull jaw harp called pepur; and a conch-shell trumpet called puhu-puhu. The lone percussion instrument in the collection is the kakal, a suspended wooden xylophone.
Many Hands' researchers write that "much of Fataluku oral literature is held and told through the vast body of sung poetry known as vaihoho" (2017). Vaihoho poetry may be spoken or sung, and it is often sung in a unique style of duet that features unusually close intervals between the two voices (for more on vaihoho style, see Rappoport 2015).
Preservation of Endangered Forms of Fataluku Cultural Expression: Sacred House Inauguration (2012-13)
Many Hands researchers documented two rituals that include music and dance performances. Le masule is one such ritual, held to "‘cleanse’ a newly built sacred house," (Many Hands International 2017, "rituals"). The ceremony includes vaihoho; the related orontafa, a "passionate call and response vaihoho," sung to the rhythm of large mortars and pestles pounding grain; and processions of women playing hand drums and gongs.
Many Hands also documented a series of rituals that accompany a traditional wedding, many of which include music. During the negotiation of the wedding contract, called valahana, women may sing vaihoho while they wait, making sticky rice cakes called maca-maca as they sing. After settling the bride price, the bride's family sings again as they pound unhulled rice in a large mortar (oron) in a ritual called orontafa (Many Hands International 2017, "lipal fa'i").
The indigenous music of East Timor and its relationship to the social and cultural mores and lulik worldview of its autochthonous people (2015)
In Acculturated Music in Kore Metan Ceremony Among the East Timorese, Yohanes don Bosko Bakok argues that the music of Kore Metan, an East Timorese mourning ceremony, contains discernible traces of Portuguese and Indonesian influence. The author compares Pulau Bali, a “keroncong song popular in Java and Bali” (125) with a piece of the same name that is frequently performed for Kore Metan ceremonies by a group of East Timorese refugees living in Kupang [Salton Group].
Musique et rituel dans l’Est insulindien (Indonésie orientale et Timor-Leste) : premiers jalons (2015, french)
In Musique et rituel dans l’Est insulindien, Rappoport outlines the contexts for musical practice common to the islands of Eastern Insulindia (ie. the area consisting of the islands of Eastern Indonesia & Timor-Leste).