Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 81
Till': UPPER MEKONG, SIAM.
No. 7 No.
R CS if
I 2 1
There are no sharps or flats possible, and only half filling the holes, as in a fife, will not produce them, the note being got by the vibration of small tongues of metal fitted in the side of the reed. Hence, possibly, the epithet a monotonous,a which has been generally given them; and hence the fact that a good player generally has more than one. Their playing is very fast and effective, but is at first hard to follow or properly understand. The mouth-piece is made of the fruit of the mai lamut, and being very hard, takes a lot of work in being hollowed out, and will receive a good polish outside; two parallel slits are cut along the top and bottom, and the two rows of bamboos fitted in, and the whole made airtight with beeswax. In case of damage to one of the reeds, it is
quite simple to undo the grass bands which are put round at intervals, to remove the beeswax, and take out the reed; often a gentle flick on the reed will set the metal tongue vibrating again when momentarily out of order. The reeds, by being put over the fire, are often very prettily marked.
They can hardly be obtained in Siam, except where Laos are situated.
The Wieng Chan men, who are all over the country since the city was destroyed and they were sent south, are the best makers and players, and a few colonies of them are to be met with in the neighbourhood of Bangkok. This fact of their love for this highest Af Indo-Chinese instruments, coupled with the fine remains of the Ald city, certainly support the idea that at Wieng Chan there was civilization and taste ahead of those of the surrounding places.
With regard to the music, it is impossible, without a long study of it, to say more than that they are very fond of the minor/that they use the octaves very much in playing, that the key-note may often be heard down for a long time, and the time is generally aWith regard to the music, it is impossible, without a long study of it, to say more than that they are very fond of the minor/that they use the octaves very much in playing, that the key-note may often be heard down for a long time, and the time is generally a