Music of Laos

Laos is dominated by the Lao but includes minorities of Hmong, Mien, Kmhmu, among many others.


Lao music

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

A khene player in Isan.

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

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.

Instruments

  • The most distinctive Lao 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).

References

  • 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

  • Audio clips: Traditional music of Laos. Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève. Accessed November 25, 2010.
  • The traditional music of Laos
  • Alexandra Bounxouei music and videos
  • www.laomusic.la
  • www.laomall.com/artists
  • Archives of Traditional Music in Laos
  • Lao music page
  • Plain of Jars website


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