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The pin pia monochord
pin pia is a very
rare but fascinating instrument from
Lanna. It is basicaly a mixture
of a spike fiddle, a mouth bow, a stick zither and
Actually most instruments know two, three or even up to eleven strings
of one, but comparisons to the Khmer
kse diev in Cambodia might reveal an earlier form existing as a
monochord, and the modern versions use the additional chords just as a
drone or like a tube zither player, while the melody is still played on
the highest string.
Playing is not easy, because the right hand has to pluck the melodical
string with the ring finger while the index finger of the same
hand slightly touches the harmonic points, of which three can easily be
found and even more, if the playing techinque advances.
The left hand holds the instruments coconut gourd against the players
belly and also sometimes plucks the strings, but never does glissandi
or slidings like the right hand.
The playing techniques
remind us of other overtone instruments in Asia,
like the Vietnamese monochord Dan Bao,
or even the Brazilian Berimbao
used in Capoeira, which only
looks the same on the first view.
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