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.


Wind[edit]

Flutes[edit]

  • Khloy - vertical duct flute made of bamboo, hardwood, or plastic, with buzzing membrane

Free-reed[edit]

  • Sneng - water buffalo or ox horn with a single free reedphoto
  • Pey pok - 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 - free-reed mouth organ used in northwestern Cambodia
  • Angkuoch (also called kangkuoch) - jaw harp made of bamboo or metal

Kaois[edit]

  • Sralai - quadruple-reed oboe
  • Pey ar (also spelled beyaw, and also called bey prabauh) - oboe with cylindrical bore

Horns[edit]

Other[edit]

  • Slek - tree leaf used as a wind instrument

String[edit]

Bowed[edit]

A pair of tro
  • Tro - fiddle
    • Tro Khmer - three-string vertical spike fiddle with coconut shell body; used in classical music
    • Tro che - high-pitched two-string vertical fiddle, with face covered with snakeskin
    • Tro sau toch - two-string vertical fiddle with hardwood body; used in classical music
    • Tro sau thom - two-string vertical fiddle with hardwood body; used in classical music
    • Tro u (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

Plucked[edit]

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

Struck[edit]

Percussion[edit]

Drums[edit]

A thon
  • Sampho - barrel drum, played with the hands
  • Skor ( (also spelled sko)
    • Skor thom - 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]

Keyboard[edit]

  • Roneat - trough-resonated keyboard percussion instrument; generally played with two mallets and used in Khmer classical and theater music

Gongs[edit]

Clappers[edit]

  • Krap - pair of flat bamboo or hardwood sticks

Cymbals[edit]

  • Ching - pair of small cymbals used to mark time
  • Chap - pair of flat cymbals

Woodblocks[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]