Gabbang, also known as bamboo xylophone, is a musical instrument made of bamboo widely used in the southern Philippines.Among the Tausug and Sama ,it is commonly played to accompany songs and dances as a solo instrument or accompanied by biola.[2]

Gabbang owned by Kontra Gapi
Other namesbamboo xylophone,
agung gabbang (Yakan),
gambang (Samal),
gabbang (Tausug, Palawan)
Hornbostel–Sachs classification111.212[1]

Physical Features

A gabbang consists of a set of trapezoidal bamboo bars of increasing length resting on a resonator.[2]The number of bars varies with the group that made them. For Yakan, the number ranges from 3 to 9 bamboo bars but the common agung gabbang has 5. For Tausug, the number ranges from 14 to 22 bamboo bars but the common gabbang has 12. And for Palawan, the common gabbang has 5.[3]

Playing Techniques

A bamboo xylophone is played by direct striking using a wooden mallet. The gabbang is played by a pair of beaters while another taps a rhythmic pattern on the side of the box.[4][2]

See also


  1. List of aerophones by Hornbostel–Sachs number
  2. Miller, Terry E.; Williams, Sean (2017). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: Southeast Asia. Routledge. ISBN 9781351544207. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  3. C. Dioquinio. (2008) Philippine Bamboo Instruments. Humanities Diliman (January – December 2008), Vol. 5, No. 1 & 2, Page 107.
  4. Leon, Felipe M. de. "Yakan Sonic Textures: A Heritage of Musical Instruments – ICH Courier Online". Retrieved 6 August 2019.
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