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Traditional Musical Instruments of The Philippines

The indigenous instruments of the Philippines and the unique sounds play a very important role in the Philippine’s culture and also to the tribes in Philippines in their ceremonies, rituals and celebrations. There are very very many such traditional instruments and among them I have discussed them below.

1. Kulintang
This is a set of five to nine pieces of gongs that vary in sizes and sounds. They are commonly used by the natives of Maguindanao, Meranao and Tausug. They are horizontally aligned next to each other on a rack in order of their pitch. The rack is usually made of bamboo or wood while the gongs are made of brass and bronze. They are played during weddings, festivals and healing ceremonies.

2. Kudyapi
This is a stringed wooden lute usually played by men when singing loved songs. There is an equivalent one played by female called Korlong. Korlong is played with both hands like a harp and made of bamboo. The strings are traditionally made with abaca fibers or horse hair, but modern versions of the Kutiyapi use wires like a guitar.

3. Tongali
Tongali is a nose-flute played to mimic a mournful human voice. The flute has three or four holes where hands are placed. Another hole is found about midway on the flute’s bottom where the thumb is placed to change the tone and pitch of the flute. Although it gives off a low, mournful, sound, the Tongali often played during celebrations, special meals, festivals, the planting season, and in courtship.

4. Dabakan
This a traditional drum often played along Kulintang. The body is made from coconut or jack fruit wood that’s hollowed out but the drum head is made from deer hide, carabao skin, or goat skin but the best are made from lizard or bayawak skin. Some say that the music it produces can help with overcoming anxiety, like in panic away. But what is panic away? Find out more here.

5. Luntang
The instrument is played either by a single person or two people sitting on either side. It’s often used for self-entertainment, keeping 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.

Philippines musical instrument were however played for a purpose and during different occasions.