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Hj Wandly Yazid was born in Sumatra on 24 February 1925. He was raised in Dutch primary and high schools, and graduated from the Teachers’ Training Institute in West Sumatra.

Introduced to music during his primary school days, he decided to study music at 17, while as a school teacher during the Japanese Occupation. He learnt to play the violin and clarinet under teachers Pak Hamid and Mr I Bree; and the piano, as well as water-colour and oil painting under Mr Wadiki, in Bukittinggi, Sumatra.

Passion for music and the arts then brought this Minangkabau lad to Singapore, a vibrant city at the time. Here, he studied piano arrangement under Mr Concordio Suliano; violin under Mr Raquiza and Mr Paul Soliano; and saxophone and clarinet under Mr Paul Martinez.

Soon, he became an accomplished musician, composer and arranger. He formed his own orchestras, Wandy Yazid Orchestra and Megawati Orchestra (with The Radio Malaya); composed film music for Nusantara Fim Company and Malayan Film Unit; became a violinist and member of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra; and set up Fajar Record Company.

In 1964, at the age of 39, he was appointed Musical Director of Cathay Keris Film Company. He composed and arranged music for film, television and radio. In the 70s, he joined the Singapore Broadcasting Orchestra as a violinist, performed with his own band, Café Vienna Trio, and also gave solo piano performances at major hotel establishments. Retired in 1992, he continued to perform and gave music lessons to the young.

Hj Wandly Yazid passed away on 5 Aug 2005. He was 80. He leaves behind his wife and five children.


Hj Wandly Yazid is primarily remembered for his musical direction of ‘Gurindam Jiwa, a Malay film classic by Cathay Keris, and for his composition of the lovely theme song of the same name, originally sung by R Ismail and Rafeah Buang. He also composed and arranged music for other film classics like Hang Jebat’, ‘Jalak Lenteng’, ‘Lancang Kuning’, ‘Panglima Besi’, ‘Kasih Ibu’, ‘Naga di Tasik Cini and many others.

At 28, he received an Award for Best Documentary 1953 by Malayan Film Unit, for his composition of the highly commended background music for ‘Hassan’s Homecoming’. In 2001, Hj Wandly Yazid was conferred the Jasawan Agung Minang (Meritorious Minang Award) by the Singapore Minangkabau Association (SMA), in recognition for his contribution to the Minangkabau community in Singapore. He also received the COMPASS Meritorious Award, for his achievements in the music industry, the same year.

Hj Wandly Yazid was recognised as one of the legendary composers in ‘7 Tokoh Muzik Melayu (7 Magnificent Composers)’, a publication by PERKAMUS in 2002. Three years later, he received special mention in 'Dendang Temasek' (Rhythms of Temasek), a compilation of essays on traditional Malay music by PERKAMUS.

In 2003, ‘Simfoni Layar Perak’, a concert by MediaCorp held at the Esplanade Singapore, gave due recognition to renowned composers and music arrangers of Malay film and music from the 1940s to 1960s including Wandly Yazid, Yusuf B, Zubir Said, Othman Ahmad, P Ramlee and S Sudarmaji.

Further tribute was paid at the ‘Persembahan Muzik 7 Lagenda (Remembering the 7 Magnificent Composers)’ at Library@Espalanade, Singapore in 2006, where the Pentatronics performed songs by the legendary seven.

Hj Wandly Yazid was not only a musician, but an artist. His paintings were exhibited at ‘Lakaran Warisan’, organised by and held at Taman Warisan Melayu (Malay Heritage Centre) in 2005, and ‘Contemporary 2001’, organised by Association of Artists of Various Resources (APAD), at Singapore Calligraphy Centre in 2001.

Hj Wandly Yazid was a member of COMPASS; PERKAMUS; APAD; Niniek Mamak (Council of Advisors), SMA; and NAC.











gurindam jiwa



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