Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Metallophones > Gongs >
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 111.241.1 bell gong.
Region: South East Asia.
Description: The babendil is a single, narrow-rimmed gong that is played in the Philippines. It is known among many alternate names as it is played by numerous ethnic groups in the Southern Philippines. The babendil is also called babendir [Maguindanao] babndir [Maranao] bandil, babandil, babindil, bapindil, by other Southern Philippine Groups babandir [Tagbanwa, Batak, Palawan], banendir, tungtung, [Tausug], salimbal [Samal] and the mapindil [Yakan].
This gong is played as the “timekeeper” in the Maguindanao kulintang ensemble. The babendil is slightly larger in diameter than the kulintang gong and comparable to the diameter of the agung or gandingan. Unlike the agung, the babendil has a sunken boss which renders the boss relatively non-functional.
Because of their sunken boss, babendils are instead struck either at the flange or the rim, using either bamboo or a strip of rattan, producing a sharp, distinctive metallic clang and are sometimes considered “false gongs.” In fact, this distinction makes the babendil classified as a bell in the Hornbostel-Sachs classification [if it were struck at the boss, it would be considered a gong].
Citations: Bibliography: Benitez, Kristina. The Maguindanaon Kulintang: Musical Innovation, Transformation and the Concept of Binalig. Ann Harbor, MI: University of Michigan, 2005 ; Mercurio, Philip Dominguez 2006 – Traditional Music of the Southern Philippines” PnoyAndTheCity: A Center for Kulintang – A home for Pasikings February 25, 2006 ; Cadar, Usopay Hamdag 1971 ; The Maranao Kolintang Music: An Analysis of the Instruments, Musical Organization, Ethnologies, and Historical Documents. Seattle, WA: University of Washington ; Websites: