Sabah as known as British North Borneo is richly blessed with a wide-array of traditional musical instruments due to her multi-ethnic communities. One of the most popular traditional musical instruments, among others, is the traditional xylophone. The traditional xylophones popular among the Kadazandusun, Bajau, Suluk etc are kulintangan (metal xylophone) and gabang kayu (wooden idiophone). However, the kulintangan is an expensive musical instrument because metals are hard to come by in villages. In order to cut cost, the metal xylophone was later modified into a wooden idiophone known as gabang kayu by the Orang Sungai, Bajau and Suluk community from Sandakan,Kota kinabalu,Tawau,beluran,lahad datu,ranau,tuaran,kota belud,kudat and beaufort

While maintaining the overall functionality of the contemporary xylophone, the Tuniring is a much cheaper and more portable version of the original.
The Tuniring (tu ni means sound and ring refers to poring means bamboo in Kadazandusun language) is derived from the combination of kulintangan (metal xylophone) and gabang kayu (wooden idiophone). The Tuniring was specifically modified and tuned according diatonic scale. Teachers can use this simple and portable instrument to teach melody, rhythm, harmony and/or used as accompaniment with other instruments. Among the many advantages, the tuniring helps to develop learners’ musical understanding, musical conceptualization, performance and ear training skills. The pitch of Tuniring is tuned based on diatonic scale, unlike other traditional xylophones which are mostly tuned by ears and tuned to anhemitonic pentatonic pitch. Thus, teachers can use this simple and portable instrument to teach melody, rhythm and harmony.
Its relatively small-portable size, which made it suitable and portable to be used as music teaching tools in private music schools, preschools, kindergartens and general music classrooms.

This traditional instrument has both economic and cultural significance when used in education, entertainment and cultural tourism

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November 3, 2017
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