Malay music has a persistent rhythm that comes from a wide variety of percussion instruments, including the double-headed gendang, the geduk and the gedombak. The rebana is a huge drum made from a hollowed-out log. It was traditionally used for communicating from one village to another. Drumming festivals are often held after rice harvesting, in May and June. Drummers compete in teams of 12 and judges award prizes for timing, tone and rhythm.
 Did you know? 
Joseph Conrad's novels Lord Jim (1900), Victory (1915) and The Rescue (1920) are all set in Malaysia.
Malaysian dance draws on many different traditions. The Joget is the most popular dance. It is lively and fast, performed by couples. The Joget has its origins in Portuguese folk dance, which was introduced to Melaka during the era of the spice trade. A favourite dance in Sabah and Sarawak requires the dancers to perform while others move bamboo poles back and forth in between the dancers' feet. The dancers require great agility to prevent their feet being trapped between the bamboo poles. 
Mak Yong is a dance-drama, traditionally performed in the courts of the sultans. This ancient entertainment combines romantic stories, operatic singing and humour. The performers are backed by a traditional orchestra of gongs, drums and a type of violin called a rebab. Bangara is Punjabi folk dance with colourful costumes and lively music. 
 Did you know? 
Chinese opera is traditionally performed by men. Good and evil characters are identified by different kinds of face paint.
Malay arts and crafts include batik, silk weaving and silver filigree. Batik is a traditional technique for dyeing fabric, using wax to make designs. The designs are either hand-painted or printed with carved wooden blocks. Silver filigree jewellery is created with delicate silver wires that are tightly rolled by hand and soldered onto frames. In Sabah and Sarawak, people create woodcarvings and Iban pua kumbu, intricately woven ceremonial hangings. The designs are passed from one generation to the next, and may feature stylized birds, animals or plants, or motifs representing mythical subjects that have spiritual significance.

 Malaysia's Chinese community creates beautiful porcelain. The huge blue and green glazed dragon jars are the most prized pieces.

 Beadwork is another traditional art form in Sabah and Sarawak. Beads are woven into clothes, hats and caps and threaded into long necklaces.