Music of Laos

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Laos is dominated by the Lao but includes minorities of Hmong, Mien, Kmhmu, among many others. The most distinctive Lao musical instrument is a bamboo mouth organ called a khene. The instrument was supposedly invented by a woman trying to imitate the calls of the garawek bird. The woman took the new instrument to her king, and he told her it was fair, but that he wanted more. She modified the instrument and he replied "Tia nee khaen dee" (this time it was better).

Lao music[edit]

Lao folk music, known as Lam, is extemporaneous singing accompanied by the khene. The Lao people also like to listen to some popular American music.

Mor lam[edit]

Ensembles typically include two singers (mor lam, the same term referring to the genre of music) - one male and one female -, a khene player (mor khaen), and other instruments including fiddles, flutes and bells. Music varies widely across Laos, with the lam saravane style being most popular, while the city of Luang Prabang is known for a slow form called khaplam wai. An extremely popular form developed in Thailand is called mor lam sing, and is faster and electrified.

Popular music[edit]

In the 1960s, Thai lam nu and lam ploen contributed to the development of lam luang, which is a form of song (and dance) which often has narrative lyrics.

References[edit]

  • Clewley, John. "Beyond Our Khaen". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 2: Latin & North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, pp 170–174. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.

External links[edit]