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Most of the instruments used in the actual music of Laos find comparable instruments in the ensembles of Thailand and Cambodia, mainly in the classical "Maholi" ("Mahori" in Cambodia, called "sep noi" in northern Laos and using all instruments listed below without the Khene mouthorgan) and "Pi Phat" ensembles (called "Pin Peat" in Cambodia and "sep yai" in northern Laos, where the Khene mouthorgan is presented but only plays melodical lines without drones).
These classical instruments are categorized by their way of handling:
Plucked instruments ("ti"):
- The Kacchappi" lute ("Krajappi" in Thailand) with 2-4 strings and frets
Bowed instruments ("si"):
- The two stringed fiddles "so u" ("saw u" in Thailand, with a coconut body) and "so i" ("saw duang" in Thailand, cylindrical body)
Beaten instruments ("ti"):
- The xylophones "laanat ek" (21 plates) and "lanaat thum" (18 plates
- The "khong vong" gong circles (with 18 high or 16 low bossed gongs)
- The drums "kong taphone" ( beaten with hands) and "kong that" ( beaten with sticks)
- The "sing" and "sap" cymbals marking the metre in classical music
- The "Khim" hammered dulcimer
Blown instruments ("bao"):
- The quadruple reed oboe "pi kaeo" ("pi nai" in Thailand)
- The bamboo flutes "khui" and "khui lip" (small version) with seven equidistant playing holes
- The "Khene" mouthorgan
The latter , along with the fiddles and cymbals, is also part of the non-classical and traditional folk ensembles.
Here, we also might find the single reed "pi" used by the Thai Dam (black Thai) minority which comes in two sizes, "luang" (big) and "bap" (small). Clappers called "mai ngoc ngep" remind of the Vietnamese wooden clapper, and rarely the vertical slit drum "dung lun" ("pong lang" in Thailand) gets used.
This is just a presenting list which will be updated if my collection grows.
Please also visit my videos ("Youtube") - you will find hundreds of videos of musical instruments and ensembles from Laos!