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date: 13 December 2019

Pat-talàlocked

  • Gavin Douglas

Extract

Xylophone of Myanmar. It has a soundbox assembled from seasoned teak, sometimes carved and painted, and normally 24 bamboo bars encompassing just over three octaves. The bars are suspended over the boat-shaped soundbox by two cords passing through holes drilled close to the ends of the bars; they are struck with two cloth-covered beaters. A version of the pat-talà with iron bars, called than-pattalà, is used principally for rehearsals when it replaces the kyì-waìng (gong chime). Pat-talà and pat waing share a similar two-part polyphonic technique with the right hand playing the melodic line and the left playing a supporting harmonic role. The two-part pat-talà technique is the basis of Burmese piano playing.

The pat-talà is used mainly to accompany singers or as part of a small indoor ensemble. However, it is also used in the outdoor ensemble, which accompanies anyeìn performances. The anyeìn theatre genre probably evolved from a small court ensemble consisting of a singer, ...

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