Sundatang

Name: Sundatang.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Boat.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#:
Scale Length: in mm.
Frets: raised.
Strings: 2.
Area: Sabah, Borneo.
Country: Malaysia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The Sundatang is a plucked boat lute that is played by the the Dusun people of Sabah, Borneo in Malaysia. The sundatang is played solo for entertainment and, together with a small gong to accompany social dance in the home. The Lotud Dusun community calls the instrument with a larger, rectangular body gagayan; up to 2 metres long, it is usually played by men to provide dance music in imitation of the community’s gong ensembles.

Construction: The body of the instrument is made of jackfruit, The body of the sundatang can be quite small or among some communities the body is rectangular [sometimes with bulging sides] and about 40 cm long. Its integral neck is about 50 cm long or longer. It has two or three brass [formerly root fibre] strings extending over a small bridge to lateral tuning pegs and sometimes to a long tailpiece. The melody string [tansi] passes over frets set in beeswax to allow change of fret position. 

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Grove Music Online / Sundatang Article by Patricia Matusky ;

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