Two-stringed lute made of wood, one string for melody, one for drone
Kudyapi is a two-stringed lute made of wood, one string for the melody, one for the drone. 8 frets originally held in place, placed on the neck of the lute by a sticky rubbery substance called “propolis” produced by honey bees to repair damages and openings in the hive. The lute is decorated with floral motiff; the tail is carved to represent a stylized crocodile head.
The components for the kudyapi include a hand carved body, made from two separate pieces of wood. The back is attached onto the kudyapi by staples or nails. 11 raised triangular frets are adhered to the surface of the neck. The frets are positioned underneath the first bottom string. Whereas the second string on the top serves as a drone. There are two wooden tuning pegs or more commonly two machine gear tuners attached to each side of the head stock. A rope made from hemp is attached from the back to the tuning gears thus allowing the musician to stand when playing the kudyapi.
3D actual photo reference from: http://www.kipas.nl/Instruments/Kudyapi.htm
Accompany the Singkil Dance
Among the Maranaos, pieces are played by using bagu and andung scales (equivalents of the binalig and dinaladay scales used by the Maguindanaons).
The Kudyapi has also been known as one of the instruments in several older light ensembles, including that of the kasayao-sa-singkil/kasingkil ensemble, the original musical accompaniment to the singkil dance (now rarely used in favour of conventional kulintang ensembles). This ensemble pairs the kudyapi with a jaw harp (kubing), suling, a pair of small double-headed drums known as gandangan (a drum now rarely used among the Maranao in favor of the single-headed dadabuan) and a single kulintang, in accompaniment to the bamboo poles used in the dance.
Another archaic ensemble where the kudyapi was included was the Kapanirong, or courtship ensemble, in which the kudyapi was used with a kubing, small insi flute, a two-stringed bamboo zither serongagandi, and a brass-tray tintik.
The Maranao people play the kudyapi to accompany the Singkil dance. However, this is largely replaced by the more common Kulingtan ensembles. The kasayao-sa-singkil / kasingkil ensembles often pair the kudyapi with the giwong (jaw hap) and soling (flute). The kudyapi is also used in the serenade ensembles or kapanirong. The roles of the vocalist and kudyapi player are two different people in the lumad cultures.
Video owned by Laya Roman courtesy of Youtube