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Instruments:
The pin pia monochord


The 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
a monochord.

Actually most instruments know two, three or even up to eleven strings instead 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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