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The Music of Cambodia
Various Artists
The Music of Cambodia
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #3

This disc introduces Western ears to folk traditions that are almost unknown, even within Cambodia. The first music listeners hear is a pinpeat orchestra, a combination of reeds, fiddles and percussion--from bamboo marim...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: The Music of Cambodia
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Celestial Harmonies
Release Date: 3/1/1994
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Far East & Asia
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 013711990225

This disc introduces Western ears to folk traditions that are almost unknown, even within Cambodia. The first music listeners hear is a pinpeat orchestra, a combination of reeds, fiddles and percussion--from bamboo marimbas, drums, metal clappers and bass drums. The music sounds like a gamelan, but with more drive, and a jazzy, improvisational feel. Next is a Taam Ming group--taam is the sound of a drum, ming the sound of a gong--playing music for funerals. These tunes are slow and mournful, with extended somber improvisations on the srlay (Cambodian oboe). Last is a trot orchestra, a group that plays a drum-and-vocal based folk music common to Northern Cambodia, that sounds at times similar to reggae funde drumming rituals. --j. poet

CD Reviews

Beautifully recorded, excellent, excellent
Kean Chhay Chang | Vic, Australia | 01/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Music of Cambodia Vol. 1-3 [BOX SET] contains some of the most beautifully recorded music ever recorded in Cambodian during the 90s. From the ancient pin-peat orchestra which has it's links going all the way back to the Angkorian period with it's melodic structure is often associated with the Indonesian Gamelan Orchestra featured in the 9 Gong Gamelan. The pin-peat orchestra which is featured in the first album is comprised of xlyophones: roneat thung (a xylophone with a low pitch) and roneat ek (a xylophone with a high pitch), a sralay (oboe), khong-vong thom (large gong chimes) and khong-vong torch (small gong chimes), skor thom (two large barrel drums struck with beaters), samphor (a horizontal barrel drum played with hands)anfd the ching (metal clappers). In this recording the orchestra plays a number of different compositions. The next orchestra was Taam Ming or music of the ghost. Unlike pin-peat where it can be performed for royal and monastic function, Taam Ming is restricted to funeral purposes only. The orchestra comprise of 9-gong instrument, sralay (oboe), larger gong and skor thom (large barrel drum). There is also a solo recording of a sralay. This album also features folk music which is distinct in the Seam-Reap Province known as trot. The tracks include some a cappella songs and two other tracks that including singing accompanied with the trot orchestra. The trot orchestra includes skor (drums), tro (folk fiddle), pey-or (folk shawm), kancha (rattles)as well as hand claps. In the second album Royal Court Music the first few tracks features the Royal pin-peat orchestra in Phnom-Penh. Followed by the mahori orchestra which is the Khmer version of traditional pop music. The orchestra comprised of stringed instruments including: tro sor (a two stringed fiddle with a higher pitch), tro u (a two stringed fiddle with a lower pitch), tro khmer (Three stringed spiked fiddle), khim (dulcimer), takhe (wooden zither), roneat ek (high pitched xylophone) and roneat thung (xylophone with a lower pitch), ching (metal clappers), skor thun (snake-skin goblet drum), skor romanea (frame drum)and the khloy (bamboo flute) which accompanies traditional songs. The arak orchestra also featured in this track. This music used to heal the sick and is used as a medium, and is also used against black magic. This orchestra sounds pretty hazzy, mysterious and trance like atmosphere when performed. It's performed by older people. The orchestra comprise of: tro khmer (three stringed spike fiddle), chapey (long necked lute), sai-dev (stick zither, pey-or (folk shawm) and somestimes pey-pork (oboe which sounds like a clarinet) and also several skor arak (goblet drums)accompanied by singing. The next recording features solo instruments such as the sralay (oboe), khloy (flute), pey-or (folk-shawm), pey-pork (oboe)and the sneng (horn made from ivory or cows horn). In the third album Solol Instrumental Music it features a number of recordings performed by stringed instruments such as: tro khmer (three stringed spiked fiddle), chapey accompanied by singing (long necked lute), the very rare one stringed sai-dev (stick zither). Wind instruments include khloy (flute), sralay torch (small oboe), sralay thom (which is the large version of sralay torch), pey-or (folk-shawm) and pey-pork (oboe). In these three albums they contain information about the compositions and information about the musical instruments as well. I recomend this album for those who really enjoy Khmer music and want a variety of orchestras and instrumentations. Also this album is very beautifully recorded. For all those who enjoy something new and exotic. This is the ablum to listen to."
Excellent - Excellent - Excellent
Kean Chhay Chang | 03/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"the recording is fantastic. I have other cultural music and a lot of times the are muddy and not that great. These discs are crisp they have great written info and the music is outstanding.I bring them to the Cambodian celebrations and everyone wants a copy. I highly recommend it."