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Khmer the musicians

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Learning a Lost Art in Siem Reap/Angkor Wat,

Cambodia has a rich and varied musical tradition.  Though much of that tradition was lost in our civil war, those masters of our native instruments who survived are now passing on their expertise to the younger generation.  I am very lucky that some of these musical elders live and practice their art in my home village. And I am very pleased that I can offer my guests the opportunity to learn some of this art themselves.

Plengkah style is the traditional Khmer wedding and party music.  Palm Tree Village's plengkah band includes Mr. Ouk on trosaw, a unique two-stringed instrument played with a bow, Mr. Thow on dakay, a hollow wooden instrument similar to the West's dulcimer, and Mr. Tat on drums.

Pinpeat style is the traditional music used at Buddhist festivals, funerals, and apsara performances.  Our band includes Mr. Chen on the roneat, our version of the Western marimba, Mr. Lin on the sralai, a woodwind with a quadruple reed, Mr. Hoch on sampoa, a native drum, and Mr. Oll on the gong thom, a circular rack of miniature gongs played with mallets. I offer day-long musical excursions to Palm Tree village where guests can enjoy live performances of both types of music,

learn about Khmer instruments and musical traditions, and try their hand at the instruments themselves.  Some of these instruments are sold in Siem Reap's markets, and guests can use their new skills to entertain friends and family back home.

Longer musical homestays are also available for those seeking a more in-depth learning experience.  Please contact me to discuss the curriculum. Don't miss this once in a lifetime chance to study with Cambodia's musical masters.

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