Traditional Cambodian musical instruments

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Close-up of the keys of a roneat (Khmer xylophone)

Traditional Cambodian musical instruments are the musical instruments used in the traditional and classical musics of Cambodia. They comprise a wide range of wind, string, and percussion instruments, used by both the Khmer majority as well as the nation's ethnic minorities.



  • Khloy (ខ្លុយ) - vertical duct flute made of bamboo, hardwood, or plastic, with buzzing membrane
    • Khloy ek (ខ្លុយឯក)- smaller in size
    • Khloy thom (ខ្លុយធំ) - larger in size


  • Sneng (ស្នែង) - water buffalo or ox horn with a single free reedphoto
  • Pey pok (ប៉ីពក) - free-reed pipephoto
  • Ploy (also called m'baut) - mouth organ with gourd body and five to seven bamboo pipes; used by Mon-Khmer-speaking upland ethnic minorities
  • Ken/Khaen (គែន) - free-reed mouth organ used in northwestern Cambodia
  • Angkuoch (also called kangkuoch) - jaw harp made of bamboo or metal


  • Sralai (ស្រឡៃ) - quadruple-reed oboe
    • Sralai toch (ស្រឡៃតូច) - small quadruple-reed oboe
    • Sralai thom (ស្រឡៃធំ) - large quadruple-reed oboe
  • Pey ar (ប៉ីអ) (also spelled beyaw, and also called bey prabauh) - oboe with cylindrical bore



  • Slek (ស្លឹក) - tree leaf used as a wind instrument



A pair of tro
  • Tro (ទ្រ) - fiddle
    • Tro Khmer (ទ្រខ្មែរ) - three-string vertical spike fiddle with coconut shell body; used in classical music
    • Tro che (ទ្រឆេ) - high-pitched two-string vertical fiddle, with face covered with snakeskin
    • Tro sau toch (ទ្រសោតូច)- two-string vertical fiddle with hardwood body; used in classical music
    • Tro sau thom (ទ្រសោធំ) - two-string vertical fiddle with hardwood body; used in classical music
    • Tro u (ទ្រអ៊ូ) (also spelled tro ou) - lower two-string vertical fiddle with a coconut shell body, with face covered with calfskin or snakeskin; used in classical musicphoto


A krapeu (takhe)
  • Chapey dang veng (ចាប៉ីដងវែង) - plucked fretted lute
  • Krapeu (ក្រពើ) (also called takhe) - crocodile-shaped fretted floor zither with three strings
  • Kse diev (ខ្សែដៀវ)(also spelled se diev, and also called khse muoy) - chest-resonated stick zither)photo




A thon
  • Sampho (សំភោរ)- barrel drum, played with the hands
  • Skor (ស្គរ) (also spelled sko)
    • Skor thom (ស្គរធំ) - pair of large barrel drums, played with sticks
  • Thon - goblet-shaped drum, played with the handsphoto
  • Rumana - frame drum, played with the hands

Gong chimes[edit]

  • Kong vong toch (also called kong toch) (គងតូច) - small gong circle
  • Kong vong thom (also called kong thom) (គងធំ) - large gong circle


  • Roneat (រនាត) - trough-resonated keyboard percussion instrument; generally played with two mallets and used in Khmer classical and theater music
    • Roneat ek (រនាតឯក) - smaller xylophone
    • Roneat thung (រនាតធុង) - larger xylophone
    • Roneat dek (រនាតដែក) - smaller metallophone
    • Roneat thong larger metallophone; no longer used



  • Krap - pair of flat bamboo or hardwood sticks


  • Ching (ឈិង) - pair of small cymbals used to mark time
  • Chap (ឆាប) - pair of flat cymbals


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See also[edit]