Part II: Mainland
Southeast Asia
Introduction to the Musics of
Mainland Southeast Asia
Nation-states do not necessarily define
human cultural groups

nation-states are complicated by linguistic
and ethnic pluralism

no one type of music is Thai, or Burmese, or
Lao

terms like Thai, Burmese, and Lao denote
majority cultures
Each Southeast Asian nation looks clearly
defined, but is complex

each has cultural regions, minority ethnic
groups, and historical strata

provinces and even neighboring villages can
differ markedly
Knowledge of the mainland by researchers
is not uniform

Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia have been
‘open’ to researchers

Burma, in contrast, was closed to outsiders
until the 1990s

parts of Cambodia and Laos are still either off
limits or difficult to visit
Questions for Discussion

How does this description of the mainland
differ from the general region?

What is the relationship between a nationstate and an ethnic group?

Does being part of an ethnic group mean
being unified as a people?
The Khmer People of Cambodia
Khmer denotes the majority ethnic
group in the Kingdom of Cambodia

The nation was called Kampuchea, but the
term is now avoided

Cambodia’s boundaries were created during
colonialism

many lowland Khmer live in Thailand and
Vietnam

many upland Khmer live in Laos and Vietnam
The nation





most of Cambodia is flat, except for
mountains on the borders
extensive forests and plains with wet-rice
cultivation
Two major rivers: the Mekong and the Tonle
Sap
estimated population of almost 14 million
people
90% of the population is ethnically Khmer
The culture

Many aspects of culture were transmitted
from India

temples of Angkor include bas-reliefs of
cultural elements, including music

Buddhism became the dominant religion in
Cambodia by the 13th century
War and colonialism

The Siamese Tai kingdoms of Sukhothai and
Ayuthaya warred frequently with the Khmer

the Tai carried off 90,000 prisoners, including
musicians and dancers

Khmer people were bereft of their cultural
treasures
War and colonialism (cont.)

Cambodia asked for France’s protection
against Siamese and Vietnamese
aggression, and became a French
protectorate in 1864

Cambodia became part of the Indochinese
Union
Independence and chaos

King Norodom Sihanouk proclaimed
independence in 1949

Sihanouk was overthrown by Lon Nol in
1970, who established the Khmer Republic
Independence and chaos (cont.)

1975-1979: Cambodia led into destruction by
Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, including the
killing of many traditional performing artists

1992: Paris Peace Accord restored Sihanouk
to power as king; his son now reigns
Music in Cambodia

Khmer civilization reached its peak from the
9th to the 15th centuries

the temple at Angkor reveals musical
instruments and their contexts
Music in Cambodia (cont.)

15th century conflicts with the Siamese led to
a decline in Khmer musical culture Khmer
music revived by the 18th century

In the 20th century, conservation,
preservation and revival
Khmer musical instruments

three divisions:




percussion
stringed
wind instruments
two functions:


religious
secular
Khmer musical instruments (cont.)

other classifications include:








physical materials
role (leader, follower)
musical style
ensemble context
controlling action
size
status (court, folk)
system of beliefs
Khmer musical instruments (cont.)

Materials




Clay
hide
Bamboo
Gourd




Silk
horn
Wood
metals
Idiophones


concussion idiophones (chhap, krapp)
struck idiophones



xylophones (roneat ek, roneat thung/thomm,
roneat dak)
gongs (korng, korng vung tauch, korng vung
thomm, korng mong, khmuoh)
plucked idiophones (angkuoch)
Membranophones

drums (skor arakk, skor thomm, skor
chhaiyaim, skor yike, skor klang khek,
sampho, rumanea)

mirliton (slekk)
Chordophones

harp (pinn)

zithers (khse muoy, krapeu, khimm)

lutes (tror, tror Khmer, tror chhe, tror so
tauch, tror so thomm, tror ou, tror ou
chamhieng, chapey dang veng)
Aerophones



flutes (khloy)
reeds (sneng, ploy, pey pork, ken, pey
prabauh, sralai, sralai tauch, sralai thomm,
sralai klang khek)
trumpets (saing)
System of tuning



the perfect fifth and octave are constant; the
rest are tuned by ear
scales: anhemitonic pentatonic and
heptatonic
key: two main tonal centers (G and C) for two
main performing ensembles
System of tuning (cont.)



mode: basis for composition, improvisation,
embellishment, extra-musical features
(context, time, mood, etc.)
basis of mode has to do with pitch hierarchy
in relation to final tone
texture: melodically based, heterophonic
Rhythmic features





meter: duple
final stroke of each metrical cycle is the
strongest
strong and weak beats articulated by cymbals
drumming patterns are cyclic
drums set the tempo and keep time, but are
considered secondary
Structural features


pitches at the end of each cycle constitute the
skeletal form of the melody
musicians follow a collective melody, serving
as a general guideline
Structural features (cont.)


cycles: three lengths occurring in multiples of
two (for example, four measures, eight
measures, and sixteen measures)
drums execute a specific pattern associated
with the prescribed metrical level
Court music, dance, and theater

Ensembles





vung phleng pinn peat (main court
ensemble)
pinn peat (drum music/dance music)
vung phleng mohori (secular entertainment)
arakk and kar (religious contexts)
Repertoire

musicians are expected to vary their
playing
Court music, dance, and theater (cont.)

Dance





dancers try to make their bodies, arms, hands,
and feet curvilinear
types of dance: pure dance, thematic dance,
dance-drama
Reamker (Ramayana) principal theme for court
dance
gestures are formalized
pinn peat supports the dancers through melodic,
temporal and percussive signals
Court music, dance, and theater (cont.)

masked play

shadow puppet play

dance, mime, song, music, narration
Folk music





ceremonial music (life cycles, seasonal
celebrations, temple fairs)
spirit worship music (arakk)
wedding ceremonies (kar)
funerals
other festivals
Theater (lkhaon)



yike (dancing, acting, miming, narrations,
songs, music)
basakk (Chinese derived)
functional repertoires



boxing (pradall)
repartee (ayai)
narrative (chrieng chapey)
Theater (lkhaon) (cont.)

folk dance



performed in conjunction with seasonal
festivals
natural world as inspiration
other festivals
Solo instrumental music






slekk (leaf)
angkuoch (Jew’s harp)
sneng (free-reed horn)
saing (conch shell)
pey pork (free-reed pipe)
say diev (chest-resonated monochord)
Khmer religious music



Theravada Buddhism
chanting (saut thoar) in Pali
poetic recitation (smaut)
Foreign and modern music





French colonial roots
Filipino influences
disappearance of pop music 1975-1979
contexts: nightclubs, parties, weddings,
sports, social dances, restaurants
low social status of musicians
Foreign and modern music (cont.)




themes: love, revolution, heroism, sadness
pop bands use only Western instruments
classification of songs by rhythms and styles
of dancing
fixed format: ABCB
Contemporary uses of traditional arts





shift from recreation and entertainment to
politics or tourist performances
diminishment of cultural practices
few opportunities for traditional musicians
Khmer refugee communities abroad are
known for their performing arts
other festivals
Questions for Discussion




What kind of impact can an internal or
external political power wield on the
performing arts?
What is the point of having a different
ensemble for entertainment and religious
purposes?
Can you think of other heterophonic types of
music?
Why would pop bands use only Western
instruments?
Thailand
History



four cultural regions: center, south, north,
northeast
Westernization began in the 19th century, but
Thailand was not colonized
Golden Age of Thailand between 13th and 17th
centuries
History (cont.)


Thailand includes 76 provinces and
about 65 million people
Tai people are a diverse set of related
groups both inside and outside Thailand
Village and court associations





courts associated with ruling elite and their
ceremonies and entertainments
villages associated with cycles of festivals
related to agriculture and Buddhism
classical music, dance and theater are tied to
Thai identity
transmission is primarily through public
school system
Bangkok remains highly influential culturally
General observations




importance of etiquette
no use of notation or questioning by the
students
training was lengthy and done by rote
Thai music is ensemble oriented
Idiophones


concussion idiophones (ching, chap, krap)
struck idiophones


xylophones (ranat ek, ranat thum)
gongs (khawng wong yai, khawng wong lek,
khawng mawn)
Membranophones

single-headed drums (thon, rammana)

double-headed drums (klawng that, taphon,
klawng khaek, boeng mang kawk)
Aerophones

flutes (khlui)

reeds (pi, pi chawa, pi mawn)
Chordophones

lutes (krajappi, saw sam sai, saw duang, saw
u)

zithers (ja-khe, khim)
Ensembles

khrüang sai types (string ensemble)

mohori types (entertainment and dancedrama accompaniment)

piphat types (most important ensemble in
Thailand)
Contexts for classical music

historical (court activities, coronations, etc.)

contemporary (colleges, private homes,
temple fairs, funerals)
Theater (khon)

masked drama (khon): Ramakian, based on
the Ramayana


performed in episodes only
shadow puppet theater (nang yai)



related to classical khon
narrated offstage
accompanied by piphat ensemble
Theater (khon) (cont.)

dance-drama (lakhawn)




emphasis on singing and graceful dancing
vocal parts done offstage
very spare set and use of symbolism
rod puppet theater (hün)


only one troupe remains
rare and seldom seen
Other narrative and ritual traditions




ritual to honor teachers (wai khru)
ceremony to bind one’s spiritual essence
(tham khwan)
Buddha’s life story telling (thet mahachat)
narrative storytelling (sepha)
Pitch




controversy over Thai tunings
temperament set by ear, with tolerance over
pitch deviation
scale: seven tones in an octave; five tones
are the basis of most compositions
mode: melodic idiom, style, drum patterns,
etc.
Rhythm



rhythmic density articulated by brass
cymbals
three levels of rhythmic density; the first is
the most dense, and the third is the least
dense proportionately
drum strokes and patterns have names
Rhythm (cont.)


two main drumming patterns and special
patterns for individual pieces
drummers play variations on the basic
patterns
Tempo




piphat ensemble can play as fast as the
leader is able
lakhawn played more slowly
solo ranat ek can be played very rapidly
solo khlui or saw will be played slower to
highlight ornamentation
Melody

melody is manifested in many individual
realizations according to the idiom of the
instrument or voice

two main characters of melody: motivic
and lyrical
Melody (cont.)

Thai melodies tend to be conjunct rather
than disjunct

regular and symmetrical phrases
Texture

relationship to other gong-chime musical
cultures not a given

polyphonic stratification/heterophony
Form

underlying structure defined by the strokes
of the ching

final stroke of each metrical cycle is the
strongest

strong and weak beats articulated by
cymbals
Form (cont.)

composers develop new works from old
formulaic conventions

compositions constructed of two or more
sections (thawn)

same rhythmic density maintained
throughout a section or piece
Extramusical relationships

many titles allude to animals

meaning of titles may be expressed in
vocal texts

many pieces have programmatic titles
Improvisation

flexibility in performance is permissible

impromptu composition does not occur

students are taught to play specific
versions
Composers

early compositions are anonymous

compositions from after the 19th century are
attributed to known composers

fleshing out the composition occurs in
performance

names of the composers are confusing
Repertoire





naphat: instrumental compositions associated
with theater and ritual ceremony
phleng rüang: suite of pieces not linked to a
story
homrong: overtures or suites
phleng tap: shorter suites
phleng tao: composition played continuously
in three rhythmic densities
Repertoire (cont.)

phleng yai: great pieces, including extended
ensemble compositions

phleng dio: works for solo instruments

phleng la: pieces to end a concert

phleng kret: miscellaneous pieces
Repertoire (cont.)

“national accent” pieces: tunes considered to
be in the style of another culture

phleng hang khrüang: short, playful pieces

vocal sections include words strung out in
long melismas, complex intonation,and nasal
timbre
Notation

two types: tablature and pitch notation

notation is used to convey a generic version
of a melody

the accented note comes just before the bar
Thai music history

reconstructing Thai music history is difficult

few documents have survived

scholarly study of Thai music is only recent

problems in dating the surviving documents
Thai music history (cont.)

written sources





earliest known document from 14th century
earliest European account from 16th century
many book chapters from 1810-1920 (often
biased and ethnocentric)
exception to ethnocentrism was Anna Leonowens’
work
after 1900, many detailed scholarly treatments of
Thai music
Thai music history (cont.)

iconographic sources



many temple depictions of instruments and
musical scenes
restorations may have obscured original intent
the modern period


suppression of classical music
importance of education in reviving classical
music
Buddhism in Thai music

temple as focus of festivities and Buddhist life

Buddhist festivals parallel the agricultural
cycle

Buddhism and Hinduism entered Thailand
500 years after Buddha’s death in532 BCE
Buddhism in Thai music (cont.)


Buddhism is both a philosophy and a
syncretistic popular religion
occasions for chanting and instrumental
music






songkran: traditional new year (April 13)
awk phansa: end of agricultural work (October)
kathin: gift-giving to monks (October-November)
loi kratong: festival of lights (full moon of November)
temple fairs (November to March)
ordinations, marriages, funerals, king’s birthday, etc.
Buddhism in Thai music (cont.)

chanting is the responsibility of both monks
and novices

chanting occurs both inside and outside the
temple compound

varieties of chant
Buddhism in Thai music (cont.)

preaching (thet) includes two basic styles

transmission requires memorization of texts


chant on a single pitch with inflections on different
pitches
story-sermons in regional vernacular and in more
melodic fashion
Sukhwan ritual




Hindu-derived, intended to restore the health
of a person
ritual performed in temple meeting hall,
home, or elsewhere
loss of khwan can cause afflictions and
misfortunes
calls back the khwan (psyche, morale,
spiritual essence)
Regional Thai culture

Thai regions were once isolated from central
Thailand

modernization brought Bangkok/popular
culture to the far regions of Thailand

people spoke regional languages and
maintained distinctiveness until the 1970s
Central Thai culture focused on village
life

village songs occur in conjunction with
agricultural and festival cycles

li-ke theatrical performances occur on
temporary stages

long-drum ensembles found in processions
Southern Thailand was once the
center of Malay civilization

substantial Muslim population

instruments similar to those found elsewhere
in Thailand

genres include nora (dance-drama), and
nang talung (shadow-puppet)
Northern Thailand

instruments unique to the region

heterophonic texture of ensemble music

extensive ornamentation of melody
Northern Thailand (cont.)

music performed in courting, weddings,
housewarmings, processions, festivals,
and funerals

genres include narrative, repartee, theater,
courtship, spirit dances, and festival
dances
Northeastern Thailand

borders Cambodia and Laos, with three
separate cultural subgroups

instruments distinct from the rest of Thailand

lam: vocal music incorporating flexible melody
and tones of the poetry

courtship poetry is the basis for some vocal
genres
Northeastern Thailand

khaen: free-reed bamboo organ






most important instrument of the region
personal and eclectic style
improvised music based on lai, a simple modal
system
basic repertoire consists of improvisations in all
five standard modes
several basic programmatic pieces are known to
all players
five named lai
Northeastern Thailand

genres of lam (vocal music centered on texts
in Lao)




storytelling and courtship
performances occur in conjunction with
calendrical rites
lam mu theater
popular songs
Popular music in Thailand





brass bands
pop songs based on Thai classical melodies
songs for life
American influence
ballroom dance
Questions for Discussion




Does the music change depending on
whether the nation has been colonized?
What are the musical results of religious,
regional, and political influences?
What is the musical difference between the
different regions of Thailand?
What sources can you trust when you try to
understand a nation’s musical history?
Laos
The nation




landlocked country, bordering on Vietnam,
Thailand, Burma and China
mostly forested and mountainous (4% arable
land)
poverty has prevented modernization
multicultural population of over 6 million,
primarily living in the lowlands
Nonclassical music

musical instruments parallel those in Thailand

kong (two-headed lace drums) and cymbals
(sing and sap) are important

khene – a free-reed mouth organ – is the
predominant instrument in rural Laos
Nonclassical music (cont.)

tuning is based on the khene (7 tones per
octave), similar to diatonic scale

the khene accompanies singing, most of
which is in the form of repartee

two basic pentatonic scales: san (sounds
major) and yao (sounds minor)
Rituals

healing

rocket festival

buffalo sacrifice
Entertainment





12 regional genres named for places or
ethnic groups
singers perform in small, intimate settings
7 Southern genres are preceded with the
word lam
performances occur with calendrical,
Buddhist, and national festivals
5 Northern genres are preceded with the
word khap
Southern regional genres








lam sithandone
lam som
lam salavane
lam ban xok
lam phu thai
lam khon savan
lam mahaxay
lam tang vay
Northern regional genres





khap ngeum
khap phuan
khap sam neua
khap thum
khap thai dam
Nonclassical vocal genres – some
observations





khap genres differ stylistically from the lam
Southern Lao singers perform multiple
genres, but northern singers perform one
lam genres are typically accompanied by a
small ensemble instead of the khene
all southern Lao genres have metrical
accompaniment
three khap genres are similar to each other
Theater




nonclassical theater has existed in Laos only
since the 1940s
origin from Thai li-ke theater
lam poen developed from recited narrative to
lam leuang, an acted narrative
lam mu (collective singing): scripted, actedout stories
Classical music

the term peng lao deum (Lao traditional
compositions) differentiates classical
compositions from nonclassical genres like
lam

historical power and influence of Thailand
Classical music (cont.)

most of the court tradition disappeared (1828)
and was reinstated (1950s) , the disappeared
again (after 1975)

purposes of classical music: entertainment,
atmosphere, accompaniment to ritual,
theater, and dance
Classical musical instruments all have
Thai equivalents

plucked instruments (tit)


lutes (kachappi)
bowed instruments (si)

two-stringed fiddles (so i and so u)
Classical musical instruments all have
Thai equivalents (cont.)

beaten instruments (ti)





xylophones (lanat ek mai and lanat thum mai)
gong circles (khong vong noi, khong vong nyai)
cymbals (sing and sap)
two-headed barrel drums (kong taphone, kong
that)
hammered dulcimers (khim)
Classical musical instruments all have
Thai equivalents (cont.)

blown instruments (bao)


reeds (pi kaeo)
flutes (khui)
Ensembles (named differently in
Vientiane and Luang Phrabang)




ensemble associated with ritual, formal
occasions, theater and dance is called piphat
in Vientiane and sep nyai in Luang Phrabang
includes xylophones, gong circles, and oboe
or flute
other ensemble is called maholi in Vientiane
and sep noi in Luang Phrabang
flexible instrumentation but usually strings
and flutes
Regional styles of classical music


three separate but similar court traditions
developed
Champassak in the south



vanished when the Thai gained power
one classical ensemble still exists in a village
part of its territory was ceded to Cambodia
Regional styles of classical music
(cont.)

Luang Phrabang in the north



had been the royal capital and king’s residence
after 1975 court music ceased to function; loss of
royal status
classical dance, masked drama and hand-puppet
theater
Regional styles of classical music
(cont.)

Vientiane (administrative capital) in the center



purpose of performing arts to promote Lao
national identity
tradition began largely as a copy of Bangkok’s
traditions
performances at festivals and for visiting
dignitaries
Regional styles of classical music
(cont.)

shift to communist rule


current performances include piphat, maholi, and
khene vo
elite arts, costumes and Thai influences
eliminated
Popular music



Vientiane had a lively nightclub scene before
1975
Lao popular culture is primarily borrowed
from Thailand
prevalent pop music is modernized renditions
of traditional regional genres
Popular music (cont.)



poverty and Thai media stand in the way of
pop music’s development in Laos
diaspora includes some of the top musicians
musicians are mostly free to perform, but who
can afford to pay them?
Questions for Discussion




What is actually Lao about Laotian music?
What is the difference between nonclassical
and classical musics in Laos?
What can you say about a nation in which
most of its musicians live abroad?
How did the shift to communist rule have an
impact on music?
Burma
The Nation

officially called Myanmar, Burma borders on
Bangladesh, India, China, Thailand, and
Laos; it is slightly smaller than Texas

population of over 47 million people, including
the primary ethnic group of Burmese at 68%,
followed by much smaller percentages of
Shan, Karen, Rakhine, Chinese, Mon, Indian,
and others
The Nation (cont.)



research limited in non-Burmese states, and
few know much about Burma at all
Burmese arts include imported genres from
what is now Thailand
nationally the predominant religion is
Theravada Buddhism
Outdoor ensembles

hsaìñwaìñ: most important and most frequently
heard outdoor ensemble










drum circle (pa’waìñ) – variations on the melody
gong circle (cìwaìñ) – variations on the melody
gong rack (maùñsaìñ)
barrel drums (pa’má and sakhúñ) – the less they play, the
more important
oboe (hnè) – carries the melody
flute (palwei)
cymbals (sì and yakwìñ))
wood block (byau’)
bamboo clappers (wale’hkou’)
large gong (maùñ)
Outdoor ensembles (cont.)

hsaìñwaìñ is used to accompany theater,
ritual, religious, and funereal festivals




spirit-propitiation rite (na’ pwè)
theatrical performances (za’ pwè)
formerly royal entertainment (anyeìñ)
virtuosic stand-alone performances (bala hsaìñ)
Outdoor ensembles (cont.)

other outdoor drums and percussion







òzi played with cymbals, clappers, flute or oboe
doupá (small) with large cymbals, oboe, and
clappers
bouñcì (larger) in pairs with oboe, clappers and
cymbals
byò (stick-beaten) with a large oboe and cymbals
hcìñloùñ – sporting event accompanied by gongs,
oboe, and drums
cisi (metal chime) associated with temples
sito (stick-beaten) associated with royalty
Indoor instruments




saùñ (arched harp) – the most prestigious
instrument, associated with courts
pa’tala (bamboo xylophone)
wà (hand-held bamboo clapper)
sì (two small hand-held cymbals)
Rhythm and percussion



classical pieces begin with a nonmetered
section
meter articulated by the sì and wà in one of
three cyclic rhythmic patterns
percussive patterns structure the pieces and
provide a foil for the variations and
embellishments of the other instruments
Vocal music


most compositions are settings of poetic texts
song types fall within four Burmese modes





hnyìñloùñ
myìnzaìn
pale
au’ pyañ
classical repertoire is called thahcìñ cì (“great
song”)
Vocal music (cont.)





yoùdayà songs believed to have come to
Burma from Thailand
moñ and talaìñ songs thought to come from
the Mon people
relationship between tonal language and
tones of the music
language is archaic and allusive
deìñ than songs used to propitiate spirits
Music theory




no standardized notation, and no one is
actually playing the song or tune
tuning includes seven notes to the octave,
similar to “major” scale
agreed-upon tuning with room for variation
modes are based on five tones, and include
recurring melodic formulas
Music theory (cont.)



cadences are important to identification of a
specific mode
drum circle and harp must be retuned for
each mode
not all modes are represented in the hsaìñ or
chamber music repertoire
Transmission and change






two anthologies with five hundred songs
music learning is embedded in social contexts
increasing influence of Westernization, the
media and cultural policies
traveling theater troupes important for
transmission of music
private lessons and state schools
personal relationships between musicians and
apprentices
Questions for Discussion




Why do some people call it Burma, while
others call it Myanmar?
How does having a majority culture in power
affect the minority cultures?
Who gets to decide what is worth transmitting
or preserving?
How does Burma maintain musical autonomy
in the face of Westernization?
Peninsular Malaysia
The nation




peninsular Malaysia is part of the Federation
of Malaysia
Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, and Islam
all came by the 1200s
Malays have ruled the peninsula for centuries
orang asli inhabit inland mountain forests as
hunter-gatherers
The nation (cont.)



each ethnic group has maintained separate
performing arts traditions
population of over 24 million, 50% Malay,
23% Chinese, and other indigenous
and non-indigenous groups
Rural theater and dance traditions

shadow-puppet theater




wayang kulit
wayang kulit Jawa
wayang gedek
wayang Siam and wayang melayu
Rural theater and dance traditions
(cont.)

dance-drama






mak yong
mek mulung
hadrah
rodat
manora
jikay
Rural theater and dance traditions
(cont.)

dances




barongan and kuda kepang
randai
tari inai
dabus
Rural theater and dance traditions
(cont.)

storytelling traditions



include stylized language, song/chant,
instruments
instruments include bowed stringed instruments
can include drama or masks
Rural theater and dance traditions
(cont.)

music for healing




main saba (curing ceremony)
main lukah (fisherman’s curing ritual)
main puteri (spirit possession)
music for the martial arts (pencak silat)

gendang silat ensemble
Music for other purposes

music for work




agriculture
fishing
rice pounding
music for life-cycle events



circumcision
other events
weddings
Music for other purposes (cont.)

general entertainment





rebana ubi
kertok kelapa
dikir barat
seruling
kacapi
Traditional urban musical-theatrical
genres (cont.)

bangsawan – romances and situations
involving the royalty

boria – comic sketch and song-dance routine


spoken dialogue alternates with song and dance
instruments include the piano, flute, violin, rebana
Traditional urban musical-theatrical
genres (cont.)

musical traditions at court




shadow-play music
joget gamelan
asyek dance
nobat ceremonial music
Music and religion





zikir sung during important rituals
importance of the frame drum (rebana)
chanting the Qur’an is the highest sonic art
form
musiqa does not apply to Islamic religious
sounds
two streams: pre-Islamic and post-Islamic
Urban-based folk music



colotomic instruments (gongs, used to mark
off points in time)
rhythmic instruments (two-headed barrel
drums and single-headed frame drums)
melodic instruments (violin, flute, gambus,
harmonium)
West Malaysian popular music







dangdut
keroncong
ghazal
zapin
joget and ronggeng
pantun
asli and dondang sayang
European music




Malay pop
Malay rock and kugiran
muzik seriosa
muzik klasik
Questions for Discussion




Does Malaysia “count” as a gong-chime
culture?
How does Malaysia maintain musical
autonomy in the face of Westernization?
How does having a majority culture in power
affect the minority cultures?
Should any one genre of music predominate?
who decides?
Vietnam
The nation




most Viet are Buddhists, but Vietnam is
multicultural
population of over 85 million: Viet in lowlands,
minorities in uplands
Socialist Republic of Vietnam bordered by
China, Laos and Cambodia
three distinct cultural regions: north, center,
south
History



earliest musical instruments included bronze
drums, bells, lithophones
indigenous music was part of festivals and
religious ceremonies
Buddhism and Indian culture introduced by
merchants
History (cont.)

Vietnam won independence from China in
938


music, dance, theater were all royal
entertainments
water puppet performances and boat races for
king’s birthday
Those in power and the music they
listened to




Buddhist dynasties
Lê and Nguyên dynasties
Reform movements in the 20th century
Influence from the west
Pluralized music theory




vocal music dominates many musical
performances
heterophony
musical forms in chamber music
music is presented in a specific order
Modes


four basic skills
modes based on a combined set of concepts
(hoi-diêu)




organizing tonal materials in hierarchical patterns
preparing modal sentiments for a given song or
piece
using specific melodic patterns
displaying ornamentation
Scales






scales vary according to the genre, subgenre,
or social context
bottom note of scales fit the singer’s voice or
the instrument’s capacity
sentiment
transmigration of scales
ornamentation
12 possible tones; most pieces use fewer
than 12 (usually five to seven)
Rhythm and meter





syncopation distinguishes it from Chinese
music
sung poetry and Buddhist hymns are
nonmetrical
theatrical and ceremonial musics include
multiple rhythmic patterns
emphasis on the final beat of each unit
metrical organization according to cycles of
beats
Musical instruments


instrumental music predominates in ritual and
ceremonial musics
instruments accompany the voice in chamber
and theatrical musics
Idiophones: the earliest and most
numerous in Vietnam





bronze drum (trông dông) is the oldest
large bronze bell (dai hông chung) played in
Buddhist ceremonies
gongs (chiêng, thanh la, dâu) used in
ceremonies and theater
bowl chime (chuông gia trì) punctuates
sections of chant
small bell (tiêu chung) calls the monks to
assemble
Idiophones: the earliest and most
numerous in Vietnam




slit drums (mõ) used for chant, summoning
people, or warning
chimes (khánh) made of bronze and stone,
found in temples
clappers (phách, song lang and sinh tiên)
used in various contexts
cymbals (chap chõa) played in theatrical,
festival, and ritual music
Membranophones




trông is the generic name for one or two skinheaded drums
small drum on a stand (trông bát nhã)
small two-headed drum (trông bung)
small, one-headed drum from the south
(bông)
Membranophones (cont.)




large drum (trông châu)
battle drum (trông chiên) used in onstage
battle scenes
pair of drums (trông nhac) main drums of
nhac le ensemble
two-headed drum (trông com)
Chordophones



zithers (dàn bâu, dàn tranh, dàn tam thâp luc)
bowed lutes (dàn nhi, dàn cò phu, dàn gáo)
plucked lutes (dàn dáy, dàn nguyêt, ty bà,
dàn xên)
Aerophones


flutes (sáo, tiêu)
double-reed oboes (ken)
Folk songs



genres
singing occurs in three distinct stages:
greeting, contesting, farewell
sung at seasonal festivals, work, private
gatherings
Folk songs (cont.)

genres






hát
quan ho
ru
hò
ly
hát phuóng vai

miscellaneous
songs





satirical
wishing
card games
narratives
children’s songs
Chamber music



ca trù (improvisatory chanted poetry with
instruments and dancers)
don ca tài tu (chamber music performed not
for profit)
ca huê (pre-composed music for strings from
Huê)
Theater



six major theatrical genres and 20+ local folkdrama types
folk drama provided the fundamental
elements in creating dramatic gestures
props guide all dance movements as well as
decorate the stage
Theater (cont.)



water puppet theater (rôi nuóc)
interactive folk drama (hát chèo)
classical theater (hát bôi or tuông)



recitative (nói lôi)
melodic types (bài hát)
modal songs (diêu hát)
Theater (cont.)




Western-style spoken drama (kich nói)
early 20th century theater (cái luong)
“card game” theater (hát bài chòi)
vocal types reference parts of the body; it is
nonmetrical and improvisatory
Dance





dance techniques, costumes and meanings
have been incorporated into theater
dances performed as part of yearly cycle of
festivals (Buddhist, folk, ritual)
theatrical dances
folk dances
court dances
Religious music


influences from Buddhism, Confucianism,
and Taoism
earliest rituals derived from animism
Religious music (cont.)

Buddhist liturgy





cantillation of sutras and mantras (regional
variation)
poetic hymns
many percussion instruments
mixing speech and song
châu van ritual (music serving as
intermediary between living and dead)
Modern trends in Vietnamese music





exposure to Roman Catholic missionaries
and French colonialism
early European musical influence
new compositions: romantic or activistrevolutionary
modernization included French songs sung in
Vietnamese
invention or modification of Western
instruments
Modern trends in Vietnamese music
(cont.)






Western classical music
modern music
new “traditional” music (cai biên)
popular song
the future of Vietnamese music
modern folk song (dân ca)
Questions for Discussion




Why is Vietnam more “Westernized” in some
ways than the other nations?
Why is theater so important and popular in
Vietnam?
What has Vietnam gained from it centurieslong contact with China?
How do Vietnamese puppets differ from
elsewhere?
Singapore
The nation



small island off the tip of Malaysia
(comparable to Bahrain or Tonga in size)
four distinct cultures: Chinese, Malay, Indian,
and Eurasian
population of 4.5 million (77% Chinese but
also Malays and Indians)
The Chinese





opera (wayang), hand- and string-puppet
theaters are important
minstrel tradition (zouchang) performed
during festive seasons
chamber music from China’s Fujian province
(nanguan)
Mandarin vocal music (xinyao)
staged urban performances with Western
instruments (getai)
The Malays





vocal genres accompanied by drums
(kompang and hadrah)
traditional Malay vocal genre (dikir barat)
Arab/Persian vocal tradition (ghazal)
Malay operatic genre (bangsawan)
horse trance dancing (kuda kepang)
The Indians




Hindustani and Karnatic classical music
bhajanai, film and temple music also
predominate
Indian music and dance are prevalent at
Indian festivals in Singapore
temples are patrons of Indian performing arts
Questions for Discussion




What are the differences between musics of
the three main groups?
Is any of this music unique to Singapore, or is
it all directly imported?
What does it mean to have multiple ethnic
groups competing in a small nation?
Why do the Chinese perform theater so much
more than the Malays or Indians?
Upland and Minority Peoples of Mainland
Southeast Asia
Language families of the mainland



division of the mainland into lowland and
upland
151 ethnic groups, with minority groups
outnumbering the majority groups
minority groups tend to live in the upland
areas
Language families of the mainland
(cont.)

four main language families on the mainland




Sino-Tibetan family
Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family
Tai family
Austro-Asiatic family
Minority musics of Vietnam




uplands people live near Cambodia, Laos,
and China
lowlands people live near the majority Viet
people
bronze gong ensembles are most
representative of the uplands musics
upland culture divides into two regions:
northeast and northwest
Minority musics of Vietnam (cont.)

songs




courtship and friendship
narratives
ritual songs
lullabies and other songs
Minority musics of Vietnam (cont.)

central highlands musical instruments





gongs
xylophones (wooden and bamboo)
lithophones
aerophones (flutes, oboes, free-reeds, animal
horns)
chordophones (zithers, spike fiddles)
Minority musics of Vietnam (cont.)

northern musical instruments




bronze gong ensembles
wooden trough idiophone
Lutes
the Hmong have numerous musical
instruments
Music of the upland minorities in
Burma, Laos, and Thailand






the Golden Triangle upland people mostly live
in small villages
slash-and-burn agriculture impacts all
aspects of their lives
dancing to simple accompaniment
simple traditional songs (no professional
musicians)
pentatonic scales
prevalence of animism
Sino-Tibetan language family

the Lahu; approximately 600,000 people




new year celebration includes free-reed mouth
organ and love songs
harvest celebration includes mouth organ, cymbal,
gong and drum
songs for weddings, funerals, healing, narration,
and lullabies
instruments: free-reed mouth organ (naw) and
Jew’s harp (ata)
Sino-Tibetan language family (cont.)

the Akha (Tibeto-Burman); approximately
443, 000 people



many annual ceremonies and traditional festivals
instruments: lute (döm), mouth organ (lachi),
Jew’s harp (chau)
songs for courtship, healing, funerals
Sino-Tibetan language family (cont.)

the Lisu (Tibeto-Burman); approximately
350,000 people




close attention to ritual and festival life
instrumental music is metered; vocal music is not
songs for courtship, celebrations, religious events
instruments: free-reed mouth organ (fulu), flute
(julü), and lute (subü)
Sino-Tibetan language family (cont.)

the Karen (Tibeto-Burman); approximately
3.4 million people




ceremonies of prayer and propitiation
songs for weddings, courtship, funerals, children,
drinking, etc.
legends accompanied by the harp (tünak)
instruments: harp (tünak), horn (kui), bronze drum
(mahoratuk), bamboo tube zither (pap law), 3stringed lute (tha)
The Austroasiatic (Mon-Khmer)
language family




the Kmhmu; approximately 500,000 people
chanting and gong playing used in shamanic
ritual
songs for entertaining guests, courtship,
weddings, harvests, new year
instruments: flutes (pii, tot), free-reed mouth
organ (khen), lute (saw), Jew’s harp, bamboo
beaters (klt), clapper (taaw taaw), gong, and
bronze drum
The Tai-Kadai language family




the Shan; approximately 6 million people
three major ensembles (Buddhist
ceremonies, dramas, and entertainment)
songs for social occasions, courtship, new
year, planting and harvesting, fishing,
drinking, cradle songs (no funeral songs)
instruments: xylphone (ranat thum), violin,
drum (taphon), tuned drum set (patt waiñ),
cymbals (chap), fiddle (toro), wooden block
(sengkok)
The Miao-Yao language family

the Yao; approximately 2 million people



weddings, funerals, harvests, new year’s festivals
music related to life-cycle events and ceremonies
the Hmong; approximately 6 million people


songs for courtship, weddings, funerals, new
year’s festival
instruments: free-reed mouth organ (qeej), Jew’s
harp (ncas), free-reed pipe (raj nplaim), flute (raj
pus li), two-stringed bowed fiddle (xi xov)
The Miao-Yao language family (cont.)

The Hmong (cont.)



ritual music
funerals
courtship and weddings
The Indigenous Peoples (Orang Asli)
of the Malay Peninsula



tribal groupings of the Semang, the Senoi,
and the Orang Melayu Asli
lifestyle and its implications for musical
culture
instruments are easily made and discarded



2-string chordophone (kereb)
xylophone (kongkong)
tube zither (kerantung)
The Indigenous Peoples (Orang Asli)
of the Malay Peninsula (cont.)

animist religious philosophy and shamanistic
practice




Semang animism and musical shamanism
Senoi Temiar singers and healers in a modern
world
acculturated music of the Orang Melayu Asli
timbre as a significant musical parameter
The Indigenous Peoples (Orang Asli)
of the Malay Peninsula (cont.)

aboriginal Malays summon spirits using
instruments





tube zither (kerantung)
Jew’s harp
horizontal flute (buhbut)
thigh xylophone (kongkong)
oboe (serunai)
The lowland Cham

approximately 155,000 people

the Cham are Malays who came to Vietnam
from Java arounc 200 CE
influences from India and Islam
instrumental genres take their names from
dances
instruments include oboe, drums, fiddles,
gong, bells



Questions for Discussion




What do the mainland upland people have in
common with each other?
What is the role of the spirit world among the
upland people?
How will courtship change as a result of
modernization?
How do the upland and lowland minorities
differ from each other in geography as well as
musical culture?
Descargar

Slide 1