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Cambodia: Folk and Ceremonial Music

Various Artists
Cambodia: Folk and Ceremonial Music

Traditional Cambodian ceremonial orchestras may be divided into two groups: those composed of string and wind instruments and those that are primarily percussion ensembles using keyed metallophones, gongs, and xylophones (pinpeat orchestras). This album, recorded between 1966 and 1968, features both. Historically, the pinpeat orchestras, often with several hundred musicians, performed ceremonial music for the Brahmins (the highest ranking caste) or the king. This recording captures the essence of the distinctive musical forms that have survived since the 11th century.

In addition, Master Srey-Yim performs solos on the tro khmer, a three-string bowed instrument, and the sadev, a gourd monochord, in a folk music orchestra. Also heard is the chapey, a two-string lute that is ideal for accompanying vocal improvisations because of its technical possibilities and the effects of attacking the strings in different ways. The album includes music for weddings, boxing matches, and shadow theater.

Please enjoy a free download of the song “Phléng Néang Lot”

Phléng Néang LotMP3 FLAC

This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music. More than 125 albums are being released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to make the series publicly available, including a dozen never-released albums of musical traditions from around the globe.

Track Listing

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Bât phléng khlong Srey-Yim, Kêo-Phuong, Siem-Nhuong, Yim-Ya, Kâng Kuy 5:55
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Bât hamrong Srey-Yim, Kêo-Phuong, Siem-Nhuong, Yim-Ya, Kâng Kuy 5:17
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Bât phléng khlong & saray andèt Srey-Yim 7:05
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Bât sampong Srey-Yim 2:39
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Roeung moyolvong Tuk-Môn 6:50
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Chapey solo Tuk-Môn 4:11
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Phléng khlang khêk Pinpeat orchestra of Siemreap-Angkor, Chhuon 5:54
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Nang sbêk thom: the sampeah kru music Shadow-theater pinpeat orchestra and troupe of Ta-Phul, Chhuon, Nap Chum 3:58
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Nang sbêk thom Pinpeat orchestra of the shadow-theater of Siemreap-Angkor, Chhuon 5:06
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Phléng krao nay Pinpeat orchestra of Siemreap-Angkor, Chhuon 8:00
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Phléng néang lot Pinpeat orchestra of Siemreap-Angkor, Chhuon 1:49
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Phléng khlom Pinpeat orchestra of Siemreap-Angkor, Chhuon 5:16
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Phléng Pinpeat orchestra of Siemreap-Angkor, Chhuon 5:24