Re-imagining the Inait of the Magavau Ritual in Intercultural Music Compositional Process

Membayang Semula Inait Dari Ritual Magavau Dalam Proses Komposisi Muzik Antara-Budaya

  • Elvin Dainal Academy of Arts and Creative Technology, University Malaysia Sabah


Inait is a long ritual poem that is used in various rituals such as the Magavau ritual from Kadazan ethnic, Penampang, Sabah. Some are chanted, and some are recited in a normal speaking voice. When we listen to it, it has its musical characteristics. As a Western-trained music composer, a question came to my mind. Can the musical characteristics of the inait be retained in a new composition without any changes? Thus, this study is intended to explore the possibilities of composing musical work using the music characteristics found in the inait of the Magavau ritual from the Kadazan Penampang and incorporating Western tonal music. Using Akuno’s CIC Model of Creativity, two (2) musical works are presented with an in-depth discussion of the compositional technique used. Each analysis and commentary of the works discuss inspiration, technical aspects, and musical examples are provided.

Keywords: Intercultural music composition, Intercultural composer, Compositional technique, Inait in Magavau ritual, Kadazan Penampang 


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Music Score

Limo Tangon Do Mananom Parai for Piano (2016) by Elvin Dainal
(English translation: Five Stories of Paddy Cultivation for Piano)

Tusak Do Opurak for Flute and Piano (2017) by Elvin Dainal
(English translation: White Flower for Flute and Piano)
How to Cite
DAINAL, Elvin. Re-imagining the Inait of the Magavau Ritual in Intercultural Music Compositional Process. Idealogy Journal, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 2, sep. 2023. ISSN 2550-214X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 sep. 2023. doi: