Country: Philippines 🇵🇭 The dabakan is a single-headed Philippine drum, primarily used as a supportive instrument in the kulintang ensemble. Among the five main kulintang instruments, it is the only non-gong element of the Maguindanao ensemble.
Normally, it is more than two feet long, with a diameter of more than a foot at its widest part. The shell is carved from the trunk of a coconut or a jackfruit tree. The drumhead can be made out of either goatskin, carabao skin, deer rawhide, or snake/lizard skin, with the last considered by many dabakan practitioners as the best material to use. The drumhead is fastened tightly to the shell with a small metal wire and two hoops of rattan. Artists, especially the Maranao, carve the shell with elaborate okkil patterns.
The dabakan is normally played while standing, with the player holding two rattan or bamboo sticks, but the player can also sit or kneel to play. The rattan strips are held parallel to the surface of the drumhead, then pivoted between the thumb and forefinger using the wrist to activate them to strike the drumhead’s surface along the entire length of its diameter, producing a quick, muted sound. The flexibility of the strips, allows the player to employ dampening, roll, or open stroke patterns.
See it in action: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=teCovBZaiEk
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