What Indigenous Musical Instruments Are Found in Palawan?

Among the indigenous musical instruments found in the Philippine province of Palawan are the gabbang, tipanu and kusyapi, and the island tribe's versions of polychordal tube zithers and parallel stringed tube zithers. Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines, and it is named after its largest island. It is located on the southwestern part of the country between the South China Sea and Sulu Sea.

The gabbang is a xylophone-like instrument made of bamboo. Just like a regular xylophone, its bamboo keys are of different graduated lengths that are set on a trapezoidal box. The number of keys vary among the different indigenous tribes, which can range between 3 to more than 20 keys. Among the ethnic groups that play the gabbang are the Tausugs, Yakans and Samas.

Nose flutes are also a common instrument among the indigenous tribes in the Philippines. Tribes in Palawan such as the Cuyunin and the Batak play a nose flute called tipanu. This nose flute features gigantic pipes that are larger than most of its other Philippine counterparts.

Ethnic groups in Palawan also have a lute instrument called kusyapi. Like most indigenous lute instruments in the Philippines, the kusyapi consists of two strings. One of the strings create a droning sound, while the other plays a melody. Unlike the other native lutes, the frets of the kusyapi are located on the neck of the instrument.