5 unique instruments from Vietnam

Vietnam is I think the country with the most unique instruments, here is my personal favorites :

1 – Dan k’ni


The dan k’ni is a 2 strings bowed instrument with various shapes, the one in the video is made with a whole bamboo. The instrument has no resonance body, the vibration of the strings is transmitted to the mouth of the musician by a string attached to the base of the bridge. At the end of the string, a piece of plastic or bamboo held by the teeth allows the musician to amplify and “articulate” the sound like a jew’s harp, to get a wahwah effect and even add recognizable lyrics (if you speak vietnamese).

2. Areng


The areng is a simple reed instrument with one hole played by a couple of musicians, the first one blows into the instsrument and opens or closes the hole to get a continuous sound and two notes, the second one amplifies the sound with her mouth to articulate a song with the notes of the instrument, the ancestor of the talk-box and the vocoder!

3- Dan bau


The dan bau is a one string instrument from zither family with a very specific playing, the musician uses his left hand the vary the tension of the rope which is fixed on a wooden stick, the right hand pinches the rope with a long plectrum and at the same time plays the natural harmonics. The musicians are very precise with it, I am training but it is quite hard!

4- Dan da


The dan da is a lithophone composed by 3 to 15 flat stones, some instruments could be more than 3000 years old!

5- Dan klongput


The klongput is composed by tuned bamboo pipes, it is a wind instrument that is not blown like the pan flute, or struck like the PVC of the Blue Man Group, but applauded!

I made some prototypes of these instruments revisited in my own way, I will show you soon,

feel free to add links and infos in the comments to complete this article!

Nicolas Bras for Rare and Strange Instruments

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