Books + CDs
The instrumentes presented on this page are mainly found in the various ensembles of Thailand. Instruments like the Phin lute actually get electrified, but we also find examples of instruments that root back into ancient times.
Of course, the following list is far away from being complete:
ching - the most important but most unimpressive instrument consists of two identical brass cymbals of 5-6 cm diameter.
chap - thin brass cymbals in two sizes: lek (12-14 cm, bound with a string) and yai (23-26 cm, no string)
also indicates the dampened striking of the ching cymbal.
krap - wooden or brass castagnets, three variations are: khu (bamboo, 40 cm), phuang (brass, 22 cm) and sepha (wood, 21 cm)
Ranaad - the main xylophone with bamboo plates and a boat shaped resonating box. Reminds of the Burmese patala and was first
mentioned in Thailand in 1826. The three versions are: 21 bamboo plates ranging from G to f1 (ek), the bigger and lower
tuned version with 17-18 plates that is only played with soft mallets (thum) and the rare small bronze version (lek).
Khawng - Systems of bossed gongs, struck with padden beaters. Knows several forms and shapes, for example the framed gong set
of 8 hanging gongs (rang) which reminds of the Javanese bo nang and the Philippines Kulintang, the upright gong circle
shaped like an U (mawn) of Mon origin and the famous circle (wong) of 16 (lek) to 18 (yai) gongs, which are 12-17 cm in diameter
and tuned in a pentatonic scale, ranging from D to e1 - a model for students to start studying traditional music, but also
providing the core melody (luk khawn) of the ensemble.
Other idiophones include the bornze drums "mahoratük" of the Karen, the Angkalung (Angklung) of Indonesian origin used in schools and the slit drums called "kraw" which are made by a cut open section of bamboo and can reach sizes of over two meter (krong).
Taphon - A sacred pair of drums placed on a stand and with the smaller drum (22 cm) placed right, the bigger one left (25 cm), a drum that
only gets performed in the Piphat ensemble and is played by hands - the Piphat mawn knows a bigger version of 51 cm.
Thon - A vase shaped drum reminding of the Persian Dombak or the Arabian Darbuka, played with the right hand while the left
covers the open end to modulate the tone, comes in two sizes: 36 cm (chatri) and 38 cm (mahori).
Khaek - A drum of 20 cm diameter reminding of the Gendang in Malaysia, forms with the pi chawa the famous Thai boxing ensembles
Other drums include frame drums like the Ramana (26 cm) and the drum circle boeng mang kawk with seven drums hung in a circle, thus reminding us of the Burmese pat waing drum cricle.
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