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Suling performer, member of the Gamelan group SambaSunda

A suling or Seruling is an Indonesian bamboo ring flute. It is used in gamelan ensembles.

Depending on the regional genre, a suling can be tuned into different scales. Sulings can be found in the following regions:


Sulings are made mainly of "tamiang" bamboo (Schizostachyum blumei, Nees), a long, thin-walled bamboo tube. The mouthpiece of the suling is circled with a thin band made of rattan near a small hole.

Playing a suling[edit]

There are two factors that affect a fine suling's tone:

  1. Fingering position.
  2. Speed of the airflow blown by the mouth.

The fingering position changes the wavelength of sound resonance inside the suling's body. Depending on the distance of nearest hole to the suling's head, different notes can be produced. The airflow speed also can modify the tone's frequency. A note with twice frequency can be produced mostly by blowing the air into suling's head's hole with twice speed.

In the music of Bali the suling is an essential instrument and it appears to be similar to other forms of Javanese suling. The way it is played, however, sets it apart from other forms of Indonesian suling. Namely, it is necessary for the performers to use the technique circular breathing in order to create a highly strung sense of constancy that continues even at moments of dramatic climax by the percussive gamelan instruments.

Special effects[edit]

  • Slur, is dynamically changing note from one tone position to another position without stopping the airflow. For example, changing from 5 to 4, 4 to 5, 2 to 1 etc.
  • Puruluk, (Sundanese term) is an effect produced by a-repeatedly-fast opening-and-closing of suling's hole by one or more fingers. The produced sound is similar to voice of a pigeon. The easiest puruluk can be produced by opening and closing mid-finger as shown by the following picture:


  • In Sundanese technique, there are other known effects such as wiwiw, keleter, lelol, gebos, petit, jengkat, and betrik.

Sundanese suling[edit]

Kacapi and suling

In the Sundanese region, a suling is used as


Sulings can have either 4 holes or 6 holes. The 6-holed Sundanese suling can play at least three different scales.

  • Pelog Degung: da mi na ti la da [1 2 3 4 5 1],
    nearly corresponds to do si sol fa mi do [1' 7 5 4 3 1] in the Western diatonic scale.
  • Madenda or Sorog: da mi na ti la da [1 2 3 4 5 1],
    nearly similar to fa mi do si la fa [4’ 3’ 1’ 7 6 4] in the Western diatonic scale.
  • Salendro: da mi na ti la da [1 2 3 4 5 1],
    nearly similar to re do la sol fa re [2’ 1’ 6 5 4 2] in the Western diatonic scale.
  • Mandalungan: a rarely used scale

The following picture shows the fingering for a six-holed Sundanese suling.
Fingering suling.png

And below is the example of 'more realistic' view of finger positioning for the pelog degung scale.
Fingering suling.jpg

Famous Sundanese suling players[edit]

  • Endang Sukandar,[1][2] 1996 2nd Winner of International Festival of Wind Instruments in Seoul, South Korea
  • Burhan Sukarma
  • Uking Sukri
  • Bang Saat(Additional player of Dewa Budjana, He cames from kalimantan) He also called as "saat"

The Suling can be many sizes

Maguindanaon suling[edit]

The Maguindanaon suling is the smallest bamboo flute of the Maguindanaon and the only one classified as a ring-flute (the other two bamboo flutes of the Maguindanaon, the tumpong and the palendag are both lip-valley flutes). Air is passed through the suling via a blowing hole found at the bottom of the instrument and pitch is controlled via five finger holes on the top and one finger hole located on the bottom. Traditionally only the palendag was commonly played but because of the difficult nature of playing the palendag, both the tumpong and the suling have come to replace the palendag as the Maguindanaon’s most common aerophones.[3]

Also called suling by the Tausug, Yakan, B'laan, and Tiruray. Other names for the suling include the lantey (Ata), kinsi (Bukidnon), dagoyong (Higanon)[4] and a babarak (Palawan)[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Endang, Bakat Alam dan Cianjuran". 2006. 
  2. ^ "Endang Sukandar demonstration video on Youtube". 2009. 
  3. ^ Mercurio, Philip Dominguez (2006). "Traditional Music of the Southern Philippines". PnoyAndTheCity: A center for Kulintang - A home for Pasikings. Retrieved June 12, 2006. 
  4. ^ Amin, Mohammad (2005). "A Comparison of Music of the Philippines and Sulawesi". Sulawesi. Retrieved June 12, 2006. 
  5. ^ de Leon, Jr., Felipe M (2006). "Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan - 1993 Awardee - MASINO INTARAY and the Basal and Kulilal Ensemble". National Commission For Culture and the Arts. 2002. National Commission For Culture and the Arts. Archived from the original on July 16, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2006. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suling — Please support Wikipedia.
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90 news items

New York Times
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:22:30 -0700

The album opens with an Indonesian folk tune, “Gambang Suling,” and closes with Louis Armstrong's theme song, “When It's Sleepy Time Down South.” Somewhere in between come wistful balladic readings of “Takeda,” the traditional Japanese lullaby, and ...
Something Else! Reviews
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 06:06:47 -0700

“Gambang Suling” is an adaptation of an Indonesian folk song, and Etkin's bass clarinet over Waits' loose-limbed funky gait gives it a klezmer flavor. The three go from festive to solemn for the old Israeli song “Shirim Ad Kan.” Allison carries the ...
Ad-Hoc-News (Pressemitteilung)
Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:30:48 -0700

Erfahren Sie mehr über Dennis Gürtler · Startseite; > News; > Asendorf - Von Regine Suling? Empfehlen: Link Newsletter Diskutieren 0 0 0. AD HOC NEWSBREAK x. Erhalten Sie täglich um 10.00 Uhr die wichtigsten Meldungen sowie die ersten Aktienkurse ...


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:17:21 -0700

Upacara militer sertijab ini diwarnai atraksi marching band dari Unit Genderang Suling Gita Jala Taruna. Wakil Komandan Resimen AAL Letnan Kolonel Laut Budi Santosa menjadi komandan upacara tersebut. KSAL Marsetio mengatakan, mulai tahun ini, ...


Thu, 10 Apr 2014 03:22:12 -0700

... warum bei einem Bau, einem Umbau oder einer Sanierung ein Fachmann beauftragt werden sollte. Der Obermeister der Maler- und Lackierer-Innung Diepholz/Nienburg, Gunnar Meyer, sagt warum. Mit ihm sprach Kreiszeitungsmitarbeiterin Regine Suling.
Padang Ekspres
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:01:09 -0700

Kebetulan, saat ini masing-masing kelompok tani baru memiliki 1 unit alat suling, sementara idealnya alat tersebut mesti dimiliki oleh setiap petani penggarap. Lantaran terbatas, sampai-sampai di saat musim panen tiba para petani harus meminjam alat ...


Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:26:15 -0700

"Seno mempersilakan kalau mau dikasih musik, kebetulan ada lagu saya yang ada suara suling," kata dia di Jakarta semalam. Perempuan kelahiran Singaraja, Bali 25 November 1967 silam itu tidak sendirian dalam membawakan cerita Trilogi Insiden yang ...

Wow Keren

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Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:52:30 -0700

Di pintu masuk para pemain kecapi, suling serta pesinden juga mendendangkan lagu khas pedesaan di Tanah Sunda. Sedangkan TPS Rutan Pondok Bambu Jakarta bernuansa Piala Dunia yang akan digelar Juni mendatang. Lain halnya di Mojokerto yang ...

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