"H'ne" is a multiple reed oboe with a remarkable crooked form. It knows
seven nearly equidistant playing holes which were basic for
the development of the main Burmese scales in both chamber and ensemble
music. The two common sizes "ci" (big) and "kalei" (small)
are used for
different purposes, the bigger one for slow tempi and more dignity, the
latter one for festival occasions.
Sometimes the bamboo flute "palwei" suspends the "h'ne" during
festivals as it also knows equally set playing holes resounding in the
There are attempts to compare this instrument to other reed areophones
like the Chinese "Suona" or even more the Indian "Xaranai", and
regarding the fact that Burma borders both countries and always was
visited on several ancient trade roads, this might be not really false.
There are also comparable instruments in medieval Europe, which could
be connected to instruments like this. On the other hand, not only the
shape but also the tuning of this
instrument is left to Burma alone.