THE MUSIC OF  SOUTHEAST ASIA:                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Books + CDs

The tünak harp

The tünak harp belongs to the Karen poeple and accompanies the famous singing of  legends about the mythical land Lala.

It is also commonly used for songs of every kind: new year songs, love songs, house building and cradle songs as well as children songs.

The six strings are tuned in a pentatonic scale and are played with both hands, which follow the arrangement of the strings, of which some spread out to the left and some to the right.

Both hands are able to play an ostinato sequence on which the opposite hand adds melodical and ornamental tones.

The most interesting fact about this instrument is that this is the only arched harp besides the famouse Burmese saung gauk harp still existing in Asia today. Though the age of this instrument is not yet reserached, scientists like Judith Becker refer these instruments via India and old trading routes back to the ancient  Mesopotamian harps and lyrae in Egypt. 

*sample* (MP3, 448 KB)

Pictures (click to enlarge):


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