Here’s another Pagoda recorded in Singapore, this one in 1938. It features traditional Chinese wedding music played by a seroni ensemble. The typical ensemble consists of seroni (a shwam-like oboe known as suona in China), swilin (bamboo flute) and percussion; a small drum, cymbals and gong. Usually this type of music is used to accompany the bride while she is carried in a sedan and throughout other parts of the wedding. The piece heard on this record is labeled “Siew-Tow”, the most important part of the ceremony when the vows are taken.
A seroni ensemble is also used for funerals and other rituals.
Immigrants from southern China began moving to Malaysia and Indonesia as early as the 15th century. The British later encouraged Chinese immigration to the Straights Settlements in the the 19th and 20th centuries. Chinese, speaking several different dialects, quickly established themselves as traders throughout the region, as in other parts of Southeast Asia.
The label is hard to read, but it says: