Idiochords are a cross between idiophones and chordophones. They are chordophone because of the presence of strings which produced sounds and they are idiophone because the strings are struck rather than plucked as is normally done with chordophones.
They have been placed under chordophones due to the presence of strings.
Idiochords in the Philippines may be placed under two types based on their construction: zither-like instruments and board instruments.
In zither-like instruments, the instrument is made of a single node of bamboo and constructed like bamboo polychordal zithers with the exception that both ends are closed. They have two common frets which raise the strings from the body of the instrument. Depending on the instrument, the frets may be placed by both sides of the hole or near both ends of the instrument. A small thin pad joins the two strings at the center. Underneath this pad is a small hole which allows the body of the instrument to function as a resonator. This pad is struck by a small wooden stick while the other hand holds the instrument such as when playing the Kalinga kulibit. When played with a pair of sticks such as that of the Sulod tekumbo, the instrument is placed on the ground as the player strikes the pad like a drum. Among the Maguindanaon, the takemba functions as a drum in the kulintang a tamlang or kulintang kayu ensemble.
Those with boards, on the other hand, such as the Ifugao tadcheng are simple wooden boards with a pair of metal strings. The board simply acts as an attachment for the strings and not as a resonator.