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date: 14 November 2019

Kơni [k’ni]locked

  • Trân Quang Hai

Extract

[k’ni]

Fiddle of the Jarai people of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It is a section of bamboo about 50 cm long with a wooden L-shaped foot that rests on the ground. The single metal or silk string is affixed at the base and tightened with a peg. A nut and/or a bridge might raise the string above the neck, which might have finger position marks or small wax frets. The bow stick is a simple arch of bamboo. A thread is fastened at one end to the string and at the other to a thin disk which is held inside the player’s mouth. Through the thread, the string’s vibration is transmitted to the mouth, which serves as a resonator and tone modifier in the manner of a jew’s harp. This instrument is played at home or in the field for entertainment, and in modern form (developed at the Hanoi Conservatory), of decoratively carved wood with two strings, in popular ensemble music....

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