Kulintang traditional music is a musical instrument typical of Minahasa (North Sulawesi) that have a base material that is wood which if struck could emit a quite long and can reach high tones as well as low as wood eggs, bandaran, detention, kakinik or the like (a type of wood which is somewhat lightweight but solid enough and the wood fibers arranged in such a way to form parallel lines).

The word is derived from the sound Set: Tong (low tone), Ting (high pitch) and Tang (tone Center). First in the regional language of Minahasa to invite people to play set: “Let’s ber Tong Ting Tang” with the phrase “Maimo Kumolintang” and of the habits that arose the name “KULINTANG” instrument used to play.


KULINTANG TRADITIONAL MUSIC INDONESIA FROM MINAHASA NORTH SULAWESI 4Kulintang traditional music as art products remains a unique traditional music to be heard and to grow as a means of entertainment to be enjoyed as well as media application of music education in Indonesia, especially in the city of Manado.

Initially, the set consisted of just a few pieces of wood are placed above both feet lined up the players with a sitting position on the ground, with both legs straight to the fore their graves today. With the passage of time the player’s legs was replaced with two banana stalks, or sometimes substituted with rope like arumba from West Java. While the use of a crate sesonator started since Prince Diponegoro was in Minahasa (th. 1830). At that time, it was said that the equipment and gamelan gambang brought by his entourage.

As for the wearing of a set of closely related to people’s traditional belief in Minahasa, such as in ritual ceremonies in connection with the worship of the spirits of the ancestors. That is why with the introduction of Christianity in Minahasa, the existence of kulintang so distressed, even almost disappeared altogether during ± 100th.


After World War II, it was only set to reappear pioneered by Nelwan Katuuk (a set of tones which make up according to the order of universal music tones). Initially consisting only of a single Melody with the tone of the Diatonic melodies, with a distance of 2-tone octave and used as tools of “string” as the guitar, the ukulele and string bas.

A 1954 set of already made 2 ½ octave (diatonic melodies). In 1960 has reached 3 ½ octave tone 1 kruis, naturel, and 1 mol. Basic tone is still limited to three key (Naturel, 1 mol, and 1 kruis) with a distance of ½ octave 4 tones of F s. c./d. and the development of the music of good quality ongoing set of tools, the expansion of the distance form the tone, crate resonator (for fixing the sound), as well as appearance. The current set of created had already reached 6 (six) octave with chromatisch full.

The Function of Kulintang Traditional Music

First set was used in ritual ceremonies associated with the worship of the spirits of the ancestors. But the influx of Christian religion in Minahasa made this instrument is no longer used in indigenous rituals.

The Equipment of Kulintang Traditional Music

KULINTANG TRADITIONAL MUSIC INDONESIA FROM MINAHASA NORTH SULAWESI 6Complete tool tools set of equipment amounted to 9. But for the professional circles, simply by playing 6 pieces tool can already play. Completeness of a set of instruments as follows:

B = > Bas = Loway

C = > Cello = Cella

T = > Tenor 1, Tenor 2 Karua = = Karua rua

A = 1 = > Alto, Alto 2 = Unary Unary rua

U = > Ukulele/Alto 3 = Katelu

M = > Melody 1, Melody Int one = 2 = Ina rua, Melody 3 = Int taweng

MAKEUP TOOLS of Kulintang Traditional Music

Complete (9 players):

Melody – front center

Bass-left Rear

Cello-Rear right

Other tools depending on the width of the stage (2 or 3 lines) and pay attention to the function of the tool (Tenor & Alto).

The Basic Tone of Kulintang Traditional Music

Tone tone in the tool set as follows:

C = 1 3 5 Cm = 1 2 5

D = 2 4 6 Dm = 2 4 6

E = 3 5 7 Em = 3 5 7

F = 1 Fm = 4 6 4 5 1

G = 5 7 2 Gm = 5 6 2

A = 6 Am 6 = 1 3 1 3

B = 7 2 4 Bm = 7 2 4


Stick set has its own number and numbers are generally holding stick set can be done in the following way:

Stick No. 1 always in left hand

Stick No. 2 in right hand (between the thumb with the index finger)

Stick No. 3 in the right hand (between middle finger with the ring finger) – so that the No. 2 hitter can freely draw near and away from No. 3, according to the accord. And how to hit adapted to the beats and rhythms are desired, and each tool has specific characteristics, corresponding functions in the accompaniment of a song. On Bass and Melody is generally only use 2 stick, making it more convenient and comfortable in the hand.

Please kindly listened the Kulintang Traditional Music below.

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