The Music of Thailand
The music of Thailand reflects its geographic position at the intersection of China, India, Indonesia and Cambodia, and reflects trade routes that have historically included Persia, Africa, Greece and Rome. Thai musical instruments are varied and reflect ancient influence from far a field - including the klong thap and khim (Persian origin), the jakhe (Indian origin), the klong jin (Chinese origin), and the klong kaek (Indonesian origin).
Thai classical music is synonymous with those stylized court ensembles and repertoires that emerged in its present form within the royal centers of Central Thailand some 800 years ago. These ensembles, while being deeply influenced by Khmer and even older practices and repertoires from India, are today uniquely Thai expressions.
Traditional Thai classical repertoire is anonymous, handed down through an oral tradition of performance in which the names of composers (if, indeed, pieces were historically created by single authors) are not known. However, since the beginning of the modern Bangkok period, composers' names have been known and, since around the turn of the century, many major composers have recorded their works in notation.
While the composer Luang Pradit Phairau (1881–1954) used localized forms of cipher (number) notation, other composers such as Montri Tramote (1908–1995) used standard western staff notation. Several members of the Thai royal family have been deeply involved in composition, including King Prajatipok (Rama VII, 1883–1941) and King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927–), whose compositions have been more often for jazz bands than classical Thai ensembles.
While the three primary classical ensembles, the Piphat, Khruang Sai and Mahori differ in significant ways, they all share a basic instrumentation and theoretical approach.
A piphat (Thai: ปพาทย) is a kind of ensemble in the classical music of Thailand, which features wind and percussion instruments. It is considered the primary form of ensemble for the interpretation of the most sacred and "high-class" compositions of the Thai classical repertoire, including the Buddhist invocation entitled Satukan (Thai: สาธุการ) as well as the suites called phleng ruang. It is also used to accompany traditional Thai theatrical and dance forms including khon (Thai: โขน) (masked dance-drama), lakhon (classical dance), and shadow puppet theater.
The most common form of piphat is called piphat mai khaeng (ป พาทยไมแข็ง). This ensemble uses an oboe called pi (after which the piphat ensemble is named), in combination with xylophones, gong circles, and other percussion instruments, with the xylophones and gong circles using hard mallets, creating a very bright, loud sound. Quieter varieties of piphat ensemble, called piphat mai nuam (ปพาทย ไมนวม), uses a vertical flute called khlui piang or in place of the pi, and soft mallets are used in place of hard mallets.
Types of piphat
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Piphat khruang ha (Thai: วงปี พาทย์ เครื องห้ า) Piphat khruang khu (Thai: วงปี พาทย์ เครืองคู)่ Piphat khruang yai (Thai: วงปี พาทย์ เครืองใหญ่ ) Piphat nang hong (Thai: วงปี พาทย์ นางหงส์ ) Piphat duek dam ban (Thai: วงปี พาทย์ ดึกดําบรรพ์ ) Piphat mon (Thai: วงปี พาทย์ มอญ) Piphat mon khruang ha (Thai: วงปี พาทย์มอญเครืองห้ า) Piphat mon khruang khu (Thai: วงปี พาทย์มอญเครืองคู)่ Piphat mon khruang yai (Thai: วงปี พาทย์มอญเครืองใหญ่ )
The Khruang Sai orchestra combines some of the percussion and wind instruments of the piphat with an expanded string section including the so duang (a high-pitched two-string bowed lute), the lower pitched solaw (bowed lute) and the three-string jhakhe (a plucked zither). In addition to these instruments are the klhui (vertical fipple flute) in several sizes and ranges, a goblet drum (than) and, occasionally, a small hammered Chinese dulcimer (khim). The khruang sai ensemble is primarily...
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