Guntang

Name: Guntang.
Type: Chordophones > Zither > Idiochords > Tube >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 312.12
Area: Bali & Lombok.
Country: Indonesia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The guntang is a single stringed, idiochord tube zither.  This instrument is struck with a stick, it is played mainly on the island  of Bali in various gamelan ensembles.

Repertoire: In gamelan arja, a larger guntang usually defines the rhythmic emphasis and a second, smaller guntang sets the beat. The latter is now mostly replaced by a small knobbed gong called [kempli].

Construction: Thee guntang consists of a 35 cm to 70 cm length of thick bamboo that is cut from the knot forms of the tube from both sections, end to end. A thin string is separated from the upper layer [epidermis] by two longitudinal incisions and one tangential incision. At the ends the string remains connected to the bamboo and is secured against tearing with a fibre winding around the tube made of rattan or another plant material. The tube wall is thinned under the string and straightened to a flat surface.

At both ends of the saddle, two pieces of wood or bamboo are inserted underneath the saddle parallel to the string carrier. The string tension can be increased by moving the sticks outwards. A flat piece of wood about 4 cm to 5 cm in size attached to the middle of the string vibrates when the string is struck with a thin bamboo stick. It lowers the pitch, increases the volume, and makes the sound more persistent.

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