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date: 18 November 2019


  • John Okell


Oboe of Myanmar. Among the Mon it is known as hnoa. It has a conical bore and a composite double reed, and is made in two sizes pitched a fifth apart. The small hnè-galeì is about 26 cm long and the larger hnè-gyì is about 40 cm long. Both instruments have a compass of two octaves, the lowest note of the large hnè being about c′, and that of the small hnè, g′. Both have seven equidistant fingerholes at the front and a thumbhole at the back, positioned halfway between the first and second fingerholes. The conical metal staple (thabut) continues the taper of the body.

The reed (hnè-gin) is made from young leaves of the toddy palm which are soaked and smoked for several months before being folded and cut into shape; about six to eight fan-shaped layers of the leaf are bound together with a thick cord. ...

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Asian Music