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Books + CDs

The subü lute or sung lisu

The subü lute of the Lisu poeple looks on first sight like an instrument for children or a tourist trap, but indeed is a solo and ensemble instrument often used together with the julü flute and the fulu mouth organ , representing the instrumental music, which is strictly seperated from the vocal music traditions.

The small, fretless long necked lute knows three strings and a small wooden plectrum which is attached to the small round gourd, a wooden box which is covered by goat skin.

The tunings differ, depending on whether the instrument gets played alone or in an ensemble.

The subü lute appears in different sizes, also sometimes with a  fretted neck and four strings.

A relevant instrument might be the modern, metal stringed Phin lute in Northern Thailand.

Playing the little but very loud instrument is not so easy, as the narrow metall strings require small fingers in order to match the highest string alone.

*sample* (MP3, 296 KB)

Pictures (click to enlarge):


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