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date: 14 November 2019


  • Patricia Matusky


Idiochord Tube zither of Sabah, Malaysia; in Sarawak it is called satong (satung). It is a bamboo tube about 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter, closed at both ends by nodes. The cortex of the tube is cut longitudinally into four to eight ‘strings’, each one raised and tuned by inserting bridges at both ends. A slit along three-quarters of the length of the body provides the soundhole. The tongkungon is generally played by one person, but up to four players, each sounding one or two strings, can also play it to imitate gong music. Among the Lotud Dusun people, the tube can encompass three nodes, with the top carved in the shape of a crocodile’s mouth. Three of the strings play the parts of specific gongs in the hanging gong ensemble of this community, while the fourth string plays the drum part. In the Tambunan area of Sabah the ...

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