Books + CDs
The Lithophone Dan Da
The lithophone, a xylophone made of stone, is the reason for many discusssions about ancient and antiqe SE Asian music in common. Scientists worldwide mainly discuss the appearance and origin of xylophones throughout the Asian variety in melodic percussion instruments and several tries were made to put up links to the African continent.
Excavations in Laos and Vietnam showed up very large models of stone xylophones with plates bigger than one meter. Those are dated back to the DongSon culture in the bronze age and follow the Chinese Bian Qing sets of hanging chime stones. Despite the question of the real age of these sets and whether they were used as a musical instrument or not, the basic idea of arranging beaten idiophones in a row might be accepted as to be perhaps as old as mankind.
The model shown above is a kind of modern mixture which tries to implement it within ensembles like the Gamelan or Pi Phat ensembles.
It is tuned in a hemitonic pentatonic scale, ranging over two octaves.
Pictures (click to expand):