Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kulintangan: Gongs and Bamboos



This blogpost “Kulintangan: Gongs and Bamboos” is the second installment of our two-part 3-D visualization series in which we illustrate various musical instruments from Asia particularly in Southern Philippines. We will deal in this installment with photorealistic rendering which aims to attempts to visualize a more accurate representation of the musical instruments of the Southern Philippines. The 3-D modeling procedure of all the musical instruments was done using SketchUp while the rendering was done with the aid of Kerkythea software.

The music production in the South is inseparable from its social context in which the community utilizes the music based on their life style, customs and beliefs.  The performance of gong ensemble in the Southern Philippines expresses the concept of unity or social organization in which each individual requires a high degree of cooperation. This could only be achieved by showing synchronous sound produced while playing all the instruments simultaneously.


For the purpose of expanding our cultural knowledge pertaining to Southern Philippine music, below is some illustration I’ve made that depicts the intricacy and detailed art work of Maguindanaon and Maranao musical instruments.


Agung and Kulintang gongs


A. The Maguindaon kulintang ensemble of Southern Philippines consists of the following instruments:

  1. Kulintang- a set of eight small gongs of graduated sizes. This particular instrument acts as a main melody of the ensemble
  2. Gandingan-a set of four shallow bossed, narrow-rimmed gongs. This particular instrument usually acts as a melodic ostinato of the ensemble.
  3. Agung- frequently described as a large, heavy, punctuating, bossed, wide-rimmed gong in the shape of a kettle gong, each gong of the agung gives out the bass sound in the kulintang ensemble.
  4. Dabakan- a single-headed Philippine drum, primarily used as a supportive instrument in the kulintang ensemble.
  5. Babandir- a single, narrow rimmed gong with shallow boss used primarily as the timekeeper of the kulintang ensemble.

Other Maguindanaon Instruments:

  1. Kulintang a Tamlang- Bamboo version of kulintangan musical instruments.
  2. Saronay (kulintang a tiniok)- is a type of Philippine metalophone with eight tuned knobbed metal plates strung together via string atop a wooden antangan (rack). Kulintang a tiniok is a Maguindanaon term meaning “kulintang with string” but they also could call them kulintang a putao, meaning “kulintang of metal.”
Maguindanao Kulintang Ensemble (Indoor performance)

Maguindanao Kulintang Ensemble (Stage Set-up)

Kulintang and sarunay

Kulintang and dabakan

Gandingan, babandir and agung

Kulintang a tamlang

Sarunay and kulintang gongs



B. The Maranao kulintang ensemble of Southern Philippines consists of the following instruments:

  1. Kulintang- a set of eight graduated gongs of bronze laid horizontally on a wooden stand in the shape of a Sarimanok (mythical bird, divine messenger).
  2. Agung- large gongs with wide rims
  3. Dabakan/ Dadabuan- conical drum
  4. Babandil- a narrow-rimmed gong with shallow boss that function as a steady beat accompaniment.
Maranao Kulintang Ensemble (Indoor performance)

Maranao Kulintang Ensemble (Outdoor set-up)

Maranao Kulintang Ensemble (Outdoor set-up)

Maranao Kulintang Ensemble (Outdoor set-up)

Maranao kulintang

Maranao dabakan

Maranao babandir and agung

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