Study of Acoustics and Performance Practice of Thai Saw Sam Sai and Cambodian Tro Khmer
This study is intended to analyse the performance techniques of three stringed fiddles in Thailand and Cambodia. The research found that the saw sam sai and the tro khmer are spike fiddles, which have a pivot point at the front. The instruments differ slightly in their composition, as the components of the tro khmer are adjusted to make playing more convenient. The instruments are played using special techniques, which have specific names for the saw sam sai but not for the tro khmer. Results show that there are slight differences in the fiddling technique of the two instruments, for tro khmer players use their fiddle to generate the rhythm of the music in the absence of accompanying percussion. From field work, it was found that the knowledge concerning saw sam sai and tro khmer was really lacking in Thailand and Cambodia, which reflects the social attitudes towards the instruments in both countries. While the status of the instruments remains traditionally high, the popularity is on the wane. This and other research projects are necessary for the continuation of a rich tapestry of musical culture in Thailand and Cambodia.
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