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Music in a Boat

Among the many indigenous instruments that I love to hear the most is the Hegalong, a plucked instrument that is supported only by two strings and is artistically shaped into a boat like lute. what's interesting with this instrument is it creates a melodic tune distinct only in its type. Like all other boat-lutes, the body and neck is carved from one piece of (soft)wood, with the resonator chamber carved from the back, and covered with a thin wooden board, with a soundhole in it. The length of the instrument can be from about 1 to even 2 meters. The picture depicts a Matigsalog man playing the kudlong.
This instrument comes under many different names, although they all look quite similar : kudlung, fagelung, hagelung, kudyapiq, ketiyapiq, kusyapiq, etc.

The two metal strings are tuned with two tuning pegs on the side of the pegbox. The bridge (which is also the stringholder) is a raised block of wood on the front. The strings run through small holes to the tuning pegs. The frets are pieces of wood, glued to the neck in a pentatonic scale. Some instruments are highly decorated and painted. It is mainly played solo (often with a small wooden pick, bound to the forefinger), or to accompany singing or dancing.
Upon hearing, this instrument brings me to a different dimension where I feel the solace and earthly experience. I can't even help but swayed my body into movements attuned with the music it creates and slowly my spirit is lifted up with Bathala.

Waway Saway playing hegalong:


ann figueroa said…
very nice thoughts! :) thanks

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