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The Musical Instruments of Mindanao


Kudyapi - is a guitar with two strings. It is about 1 1/2 m
long and made of wood. It has a stick to support in its lower
end and is played in the same position as cello. It is
common among Tirurays of Cotabato.

Karaga - is a guitar made up of bamboo where the strings are slit from
the bamboo itself. The bamboo is split and tied back in both ends,
leaving a slit as resonator. The guitar has strings all around it. This is
popular in Eastern Mindanao.


Sahunay - is a bamboo flute, leaving six holes for the fingers and trumpet made of
coconut leaf. It is about 50 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. This is a bamboo flute of the
Tausugs in Sulu.

Kinapaw - is a nose flute of the Tinguians.


Kulintang - is a set of eight knobbed gongs in graduated sizes

from largest to smallest mounted in a wooden frame, about a
meter long. Muslim carvings decorated the frame. The
kulintang is played by striking the gongs with two pieces of
wood, about 12 inches long while the player squats on the floor.
The instruments is popular in Sulu.

Gabbang - is similar to a xylophone. It is made of wooden box with one end wider than
the other, and with an open top. Across top, wooden bars of different lengths are placed
to fit the shape of the box, about 1 cm from each other. It is played by striking the
wooden bars with a wooden hammer. This instruments is
popular in Sulu.

Bunkaka or Bilbil - is a bamboo musical instruments used by

the Tinguians. It is a two-proged bamboo struck against the palm of one hand.

Agung - hangs from horizontal pole or wooden frame. The player

stands besides the rim of the gong where he inserts his left arm
through the ropes which suspend the instrument to position his
hand comfortably at the knob. On the right hand, the player hold
a mallet padded with rubber.

Gandingan - is a set of four graduated gongs, with thin rims and lower
central knobs. They hang in pairs with the knobs of the lower pitched gongs
facing each other. The same with the two higher pitched gongs. The pair of
lower pitched gongs is positioned on the player's left side while the pair of
the higher pitched gongs is on the right. The player usually a woman who
stands between the two pair of gongs. Her body touches slightly the gong in
the middle to prevent from swinging. She uses two padded mallets (one mallet for each
air) to strike the gong's knobs.

Babendil - is small gong with thin rims and low central knobs. It is struck with
thin bamboo sticks to produce a metallic sound.


Dabakan - is a goblet -shaped drum, which has a single head covered with
goat, lizard or snake skin. It is struck with two thin bamboo sticks about 18
inches in length.

Neguet - is a drum from Cotabato, 30 cm high, 20 cm in


Tugo - is a tiruray drum 25 cm long, 20 cm in