Traditional Musical Instruments of The Philippines | Part-2

Traditional Musical Instruments

To Be Continued…

In the previous month’s blog, we discussed some of the traditional musical instruments of the Philippines. Here the blog continues…

The Gambal

The gambal or the gadang are war drums that are played to boost the warrior’s esteem and get them ready for battle. It is made of hollowed out tree trunks and deerskin for drumheads. It is not played alone but accompanied by gongs. It is played by hands or by striking a wooden stick on the drumhead.

The Buktot

Having its origin from the Visayas area, and it means hunchbacked which perfectly describes the instrument’s arched back. It is a small, four-stringed guitar-like instrument that is made from a coconut husk. It is generally used for personal entertainment. It sounds similar to a ukulele and is played alone or with other instruments.

The Luntang

The luntang is a xylophone instrument played either by a single person or two persons sitting on either side. The instrument is quite often used for self-entertainment to keep farmers awake while scaring birds off the fields. It was also used as a form of long-distance communication. The Yakan use it in ceremonies, especially in courtship rituals.

The Babandil

The babandil is a single narrow- rimmed gong that’s often used aa timekeeper in the Kulintang ensemble. It has a diameter of roughly one foot, which makes it larger than the kulintang gong. Because of their sunken boss, it needs to be struck either at the flange or the rim to make a sharp, distinctive metallic clang. Sticks are made from bamboo or rattan is used. This instrument is often considered as a ‘false gong’ and is traditionally made with bronze.

The Dabakan

The dabakan is often played along Kulintang. Its body is made up of coconut or jack fruit wood that’s hollowed out. The drum head is made from deer hide, goat or carabao skin. The best drumheads are made from a lizard or bayawak skin. It is believed that that music that it produces can help to overcome anxiety.

The above instruments hold a lot of importance for the Filipinos. You can easily check with online music stores in the Philippines to buy one to keep the tradition alive. After all, it’s worth going back to the roots and keeps our traditional music and musical instruments alive.

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