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date: 25 February 2021

Bak benglocked

  • Andrew C. McGraw


A bamboo ensemble of the eastern Sumenep region of Madura, Indonesia. Bak beng specifically refers to an idiochord tube zither made from a length of bamboo two and a half internodes long (about 145 cm), from which four ‘strings’, two per internode, are raised from the epidermis by small wooden bridges. The pitches of the front two strings are lowered by small wooden tongues placed in the middle of the strings above a small resonance hole. The instrument is placed horizontally in front of the player on a short wooden stand, the right end closed by a natural node and the left end covered with a leather skin, which the performer beats with his left hand (bak) while striking the four strings with a wooden stick in his right hand (beng), alternating between the internodes. Meanwhile two bamboo tubes, the dak, about 55 cm long, and the ...

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