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Bamboo Flute / Seruling

One of the famous music instruments in Keningau is bamboo flute. It is mainly made of Tamiang Bamboo, a long, thin-walled bamboo tube. The mouthpiece of the bamboo flute is circled by a thin rattan band near a small opening. Traditionally, the bamboo flute is part of the Gamelan ensemble to produce a harmonious sound during social activities such as marriages, festivals and celebrations.


The gong is made of galvanised iron sheets and is a popular musical instrument for the Sabah indigenous tribes. It is usually played during festivals and social activities such as wedding receptions, Kaamatan festivals and celebrations. It comes in various sizes and is typically beaten by a group of players in different rhythms to create a harmonious orchestra.


Bungkau is carved from polod wood palm stem and is either shaved or peeled to achieve a two-tone look. Bungkau is also fine tuned with a piece of insect wax. A lot of bungkau have a bamboo tube as a container. This musical instrument was intially played with friends as a means of entertainment. Bungkau doesn't have a precise dimension, but it is around 6 to 8 inches. To play the bungkau, keep it close to the mouth and touch the end of the bungkau with the thumb. The fine strip of wood in the centre of the bungalow or lamella is made to vibrate rhythimically at the end of the thumb. A wide range of frequencies can be obtained by varying the shape of the mouth and the position of tongue while breathing.


Sompoton is Sabah's most interesting musical instrument. It is made of bamboo pipes inserted into a gourd. A small lamella of polod palm (like a tiny bungkau) is inserted on the side of each sound pipe near its middle. The pipes are fitted into a hole on one side of the gourd to provide the tone of the finished instrument. The pipes are attached to thin strands of rattan, where one of the pipes has no sound; it's only there to balance the package. By blowing and sucking the mouth of the gourd to trigger the sodi, the player can create a soft-sweet, harmonious and continuous tone, unlike the bagpipe. The sompoton can be played as a solo instrument for personal amusement or at home.


Kulintang is a modern term for an ancient instrumental type of music composed on a row of small, horizontally arranged gongs that work melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. It is made of copper metal and is the most popular traditional musical instrument widely used by the Dusun-Keningau culture. Technically, kulintang is an idiophone of metal gong kettles mounted horizontally on a rack to create a whole kulintang package. It's played by hitting the bosses of the gongs with two wooden beaters.