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Philippine Music Instruments CORAZON CANAVE-DIOQUINO view / post comments for this article send to friend Music

instruments, mechanisms that produce sounds, have been used for various purposes. In earlier times they were also used as an adjunct to dance or to labor. In later civilizations, instrumental music was used for entertainment. Present day musicological studies, following the HornbostelSachs classification, divide instruments into the following categories: idiophones, aerophones, chordophones, and membranophones. Idiophones

Instruments that produce sound from the substance of the instrument itself (wood or metal) are classified as idiophones. They are further subdivided into those that are struck, scraped, plucked, shaken, or rubbed. In the Philippines there are metal and wooden (principally bamboo) idiophones.

Metal idiophonse are of two categories: flat gongs and bossed gongs. Flat gongs made of bronze, brass, or iron, are found principally in the north among the Isneg, Tingguian, Kalinga, Bontok, Ibaloi, Kankanai, Gaddang, Ifugao, and Ilonggot. They are most commonly referred to as gangsa. The gongs vary in sized, the average are struck with wooden sticks, padded wooden sticks, or slapped with the palm of the hand. Gong playing among the Cordillera highlanders is an integral part of peace pact gatherings, marriages, prestige ceremonies, feasts, or rituals.

In southern Philippines, gongs have a central profusion or knot, hence the term bossed gongs. They are three of types: (1) sets of graduated gongs laid in a row called the kulintang; (2) larger, deep-rimmed gongs with sides that are turned in called agung, and (3) gongs with narrower rims and less prominent bosses called gandingan. These gongs may be played alone but are often combined with other instruments to form various types of ensembles.

thus making it more flexible when the halves are made to flap against each other. The top half is struck against the palm of the hand. individual xylophone-like blades called patatag are struck with bamboo sticks. In northern Luzon. and Palawan. drums. The bamboo xylophone. hanger. Each half of the split portion is shaped to make it narrower in the middle. scrapers. are found only in southern Philippines such as the Maranao tagutok and the Maguindanao kagul. It consists of bamboo keys of graduated lengths mounted on a trapezoidal box. Among the Cordillera highlanders. and clappers. gabbang. The Ifugao have a bamboo clapper. The number of keys varies among the different tribes. stamping tubes. The player scrapes the notches with a bamboo stick. The Hanunuo kalutang consists of pair of sticks cut from forest trees. The struck quill-shaped bamboo tubes with notches etched on the tube. Sama. These are . Tausug. such as the Bukidnon bantula is fashioned out of a bamboo tube closed at both ends with anode with a slit cut out of the tube. Wooden idiophones include sticks. They are known by different names such as balingbing. They are made from a length of bamboo closed with a node at the bottom. is found in southern Philippines among the Yakan. bamboo buzzers are widespread. Found among different groups of people. its main use is to announce important events. split from one end to approximately half of the tube. ranging from 3 to 22. pakkung. fashioned from a tubular section of bamboo. suspended logs. among the Kalinga.Bamboo idiophones abound in the Philippines-xylophones. and log drums. quillshaped tubes. bilbil. bungkaka by the various groups. buzzers. pew-pew. with its top half shaped so that two tongues face each other. The bamboo slit drum.

The Maguindanao luntang consists of several logs of varying lengths hung in order from longest to shortest. In the south the most common term is kubing. The Tagakaolo edel is a sounding board with resonator played during wedding celebrations together with a drum or gong to accompany dancers. in the north ulibaw. They are known by different .struck against each other and played while hiking through forest and mountain trails. or in some other types by pulling a string attached to the blade. The instruments have different manes among the various tribes. The pointed playing ends of each log is struck by one performer creating a melody against which another performer beats drone rhythm on one of the logs. The Ifugao pattung is a percussion yoke bar made from a tapered piece of wood and struck with a stick. Aerophones Philippine bamboo aerophones include various types of flutes. or at death rituals. Suspended logs are widespread in southern Philippines where they are known by different tribes. and reed pipes. so called because of its mouthpiece which is obliquely cut and curved at a slant to follow the contour of the player's lips. It is a type of mouth resonated instrument consisting of a flexible tongue fixed at one end to a surrounding frame. The Bagobo and Bilaan have similar drums. is found in northern and southern Philippines. pan-pipes. The player places the free end of the instrument with the hand. They are principally made from bamboo although in Philippines some are made of metal. It is used in a ceremonies for the sick. Jews harps are bound all over the Philippines. at rites which entail the offering of sacrificial pigs. The lip valley notch flute. The most widespread and numerous are the flutes which are mostly end-blown with the air stream directed into the open end of the tube.

The nose flute. lungga.names among the different linguistic groups. Most Philippine transverse flutes are adaptations or imitation of European versions evident in the borrowed names such as flauta (Ilonggo. the Bontok kaleleng. They are instruments of leisure. . These are used for calling people or sending messages over wide distances. Carabao horns are the tambuli (Tagalog) and kogao (Ifugao). and the reed called saunay (Tausug). Less common flutes are the ring type called suling in southern Philippines. and the Bukidnon (bulaktob). plawta (Manobo) and palawta (Hanunuo. Bicol). another type of end-blown flute. and the Ifugao ungiung. courting. the Batak (lantoy). The bamboo pipe is closed on one end by a node with the open end held against the lower lip of the player as he blows directly across the top. diwdiwas. The Cuyunin use a transverse flute called tipanu which is also found among the Batak of Palawan. or dew-dew. is found mostly in northern Philippines where the Kalinga call it tongali. Other blown instruments are those made from shell or carabao horn. Shell trumpets include the budyong. Sebuano. These consist of a number of bamboo pipes (5-8)strung together. The pipe can be played individually by one person or in ensembles of three or more. used for serenading. or merely to pass the time away. Waray). It is found sporadically in some areas of the south among the Hanunuo (lantuy). the whistle type called thumpong (Subanun). The Cuyunin of Palawan have gigantic nose flutes with tubes much larger in diameter than those found in Luzon. Stopped pipes found in northern Philippines are the saggeypo (Kalinga) and the sagay-op (Bontok). taburi. such as the paldong in the south and the palendag in the north. Rarely used today is the bamboo panpipes called diwas.

Philippine zithers have resonating bodies that are made from bamboo tubes or half tubes with strings that run parallel to the length of the tube. Lutes are found only in the south. two bamboo strands. or bowed. and bowed strings. takul. and Palawan. At mid-point of the tube. while the frets of the Bilaan fuglung. They are of two types: polychordal zithers with several strings that run around the tube. saluray. the location and number of frets vary between groups. Mindanao. and pagang. with slight variations. Some names by which this zither is called are: kolitong. remaining attached at both ends. The number of strings varies from 5 to 8 or 9 and occasionally even 11. tabobo. the strings are struck by a bamboo stick or plucked. the other a melody. apart. When played. kollessing. Small wooden frets are inserted beneath the string near the ends. In the parallel stringed tube zithers. The frets of the Maranao and Maguindanao kudyapi are glued to the body of the resonating chamber. They are of the long neck variety. Mindoro. kulibet. about 5 cm. and Palawan where they are known by such names as tambi. thambabok. tangke. are etched out to the tube to serve as strings. lutes. below the strings. Mindanao and Palawan have strings that are etched out of the bamboo body. Polychordal tube zithers found in the Cordilleras. in Mindanao and Palawan. togo. a small sound hole is bored and covered by a small bamboo plate clipped to the strings. The instrument. They included zithers. plucked. bamban. and parallel stringed zithers which have two strings on one side of the tube. takumbo. Tube zithers are found in northern Luzon.Chordophones These are bamboo or wood stringed instruments that may be struck. kudling. with two stings that run from the neck to the base of the resonating chamber. Mindanao. sigitan. the Mansaka and Mandaya kudlong and the Palawan kusyapi are located on the . is found in northern Luzon. and patigunggung. One sting plays a drone. tabengbeng. Though all the lutes are fretted.

They have a sounding box made from a coconut half shell covered with a leaf. goblet shaped. They furnish the inner harmonies and contrapuntal elaboration to the melody. horse hair. The bajo de unas is tuned like the contra-bass. During the early years of the American regime. One stringed bowed lutes (fiddles) of the long neck variety are found in Mindanao. They may be beaten with sticks or by the palm portion of bare hands.neck of the instrument. It was anadaptation of similar instrumental groups in Mexico (murza or murga) and Spain (estudiantina). They are variously shaped--conical. cylindrical. The octavina and bandurria are tuned an octave below the laud. Animal skins (snake. In is called duwagey by the Manobo and Bilaan. the laud. the six stringed gitara and the bajo de unas or bass guitar. or a piece of bark or animal skin. The rondalla ensemble consists of plucked string instruments: the bandurria. a round sound hole and a fretted neck. The bandurria is pear shaped. Usually they are played with other instruments. wire. a favorite string ensemble called cumparsa emerged. or goat) is used as head/heads of the drum. Drums are seldom used alone except to announce tidings over long distances. It serves as the melody instrument of the ensemble. with a rounded back. the octavina. Membranophones Single and double headed drums are found throughout the Philippines. The gitara's main function is to supply the arpeggiated or chordal underpinnings of the ensemble. to form different . particularly gongs. the cumparsa was superceded by the rondalla. deer. and more recently. In the later period of the Spanish regime. The string is make of abaca fibers. barrel shaped.

The dabakan is a large goblet shaped drum used by the Maranao and Maguindanao in their kulintang ensembles. Children can learn to play these instruments as early as elementary school and may continue on to a career in music if they do well. a person needs a strong embouchure (the way you hold your mouth on the instrument) and a . 75 cm) is called the sulibaw. piccolo.kinds of ensembles. clarinet. Woodwinds Woodwind instruments are played by blowing through an instrument made of wood. and Leah Diaz. Musical instruments come in all shapes and sizes. the shorter (ca. The sulibao and kimbal of the Bontok and Ibaloi are longitudinal slightly barrel shaped hollowed out logs with deer skin heads on one end. Jose Bienvenido Ignacio. 80 cm) is called the kimbal. The drum dead is small measuring about 6 cm. Often. Anna Arce. plastic. in diameter. these instruments incorporate the use of a reed. Center for Ethnomusicology. It is played with a gong during harvest time under the rice granary. There is a musical instrument for practically any ability level or interest.P. or metal. Drawings of the indigenous instruments are taken from a Poster Set of Instruments done by artists Cecile Dioquino-Hidalgo. They are played with palms of two hands. oboe. The taller drum (ca. To play a woodwind. saxophone. and variations on those instruments. The drums are combined with gongs and other instruments to form different types of ensembles. Woodwind instruments include the flute. which is a small strip of wood attached to the instrument's mouth piece. The forgoing listing of Philippine musical instruments has been based primarily on holding of the archives at the U. The Ifugao libbit. ludag is a conical drum with a deer or goat skin head.

from church services to rock concerts. From the triangle to the timpani.large lung capacity. Percussionists have to be multi-talented. trombones. and French horns. as they must learn to play several instruments of different types. although they can produce any style of music. tubas. Guitars are string instruments. and bass instruments. Brass Brass instruments are generally made of metal (brass). String instruments are popular for classical musical arrangements. Percussion Percussion instruments are played by hitting them. You can find guitars almost anywhere. They include violins. and are played by blowing air through the instrument and using valves to change the notes. Popular brass instruments include trumpets. Brass instruments also require a strong embouchure and significant lung capacity. violas. Strings String instruments are commonly found in orchestras. electric keyboards. . cellos. From the noisy snare drum to the soft marimba. a percussion section lends backbone and beat to a musical arrangement. Other Instruments Keyboard instruments are technically considered part of the percussion family. but again often exist as their own category. and a single guitarist can play alone or as part of a band or arrangement. String instruments can be plucked or strummed with the use of a bow. percussion instruments provide variety to any musical group. and synthesizers fall under this category and are often played alone or as accompaniment for vocal musical performances. although they tend to exist in their own right. They can be found in bands and orchestras alike. Guitar music can range from acoustic to heavy metal. Pianos.

the pitch of the sound note produced. varies depending on the length of the internal air column in which the sound waves vibrate. and vice-versa. The shorter the air column. frequencies. the higher is the pitch of the note produced. resonance and acoustics.Different Types of Musical Instruments Musical instruments from all over the world can broadly be categorized as follows: wind instruments percussion instruments brass instruments string instruments electronic instruments. Some of the popular wind instruments are: flute piccolo shakuhachi clarinet bassoon english horn oboe accordion saxophone shehnai bagpipe pianica . They work on the principle of sound waves. Wind Instruments: Wind instruments require a person to blow into the instrument in order to produce the desired sound. When you blow into the instrument. harmonics.

They work on pretty much the same principle as wind instruments. sticks.harmonica. the length of the air column can be changed using press-valves or through a slide mechanism. For example. Brass instruments are named so. one can use one's hands. Percussion Instruments: Percussion instruments require a person to strike or beat the instrument surface in order to generate vibrations. whereas striking it at the edges produces a sharp and crisp sound which is totally different from the earlier one. which then produce the desired sound note. with a few modifications here and there. but because of the nature and texture of the sound that they produce. Depending on the type of surface. Some of the popular brass instruments are: trumpet trombone bugle . Brass Instruments: All those shiny trumpets and trombones that feature so prominently in jazz and blues music are classic examples of brass instruments. Some of the well-known percussion instruments are: drum congo djembe tabla duff dhol nagara cymbals bells xylophone marimba. striking it at the center produces a deep and muffled sort of thump. not because all of them are made from brass. or other similar objects for striking the instrument surface. in case of the djembe. A characteristic feature of percussion instruments is that the type of sound produced varies depending on the spot that is struck on the instrument surface. In case of brass instruments.

String instruments work on the basis of sound wave vibrations that are created with the help of strings. Most of them are designed to reproduce the sounds of existing musical instruments in a simple and user-friendly way.conch tuba french horn. Electronic Instruments: These are some of the newer musical instruments that have been produced in recent years with the advent of technology. The pitch of the sound note produced depends on the length of the air column as well as the type and thickness of the string involved. Some of the common electronic instruments include: piano keyboards octopads rhythm machines samplers . String Instruments: All your guitars. Some of the famous string instruments are: guitar piano violin viola sitar cello double bass mandolin banjo harp sarod santoor. violins and pianos fall under the category of string instruments.

synthesizers. .