Various Artists

Thailand: Ceremonial and Court Music From Central Thailand

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Thai music is of diverse origins: Indian, Burmese, and others. Their use of gongs, for example, comes from the Khmer. Thai music is a heterophonic music, which means that all instruments play the same melody, each with its own particular ornamentations or embellishments, giving the music a particular character. Two musicians on the same instrument can even produce these embellishment differently from one another. Moreover, the scale in Thai music differs greatly from Western music. Their scale is divided into approximately seven equidistant pitches, thus sounding out of tune to our ears. Thai phat ensembles can use a large number of different instruments, but the main ones are the ranats, xylophones made either of wooden or iron bars. They also use double-reed wind instruments, flute, lute, fiddle, zither, and percussion. On this CD, listeners hear different ensembles with different combinations of instruments and for different occasions.

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