Drum chime

Update: March 13, 2021

We only discovered the portable drum chime in 2020, following the reassembly of the western enclosure wall of the Banteay Chhmar temple. It was first reported to us by Phalika Ngin. It is unknown elsewhere in Angkorian iconography. The bas-relief is damaged, but originally the instrument had nine drums, like the gong chime.


The drum chime is part of a standard set of instruments for the Bayon period, namely, from left to right:

  • A cylindrical drum struck with bare hands.
  • Two trumpets: the first one is not visible, but the musician's arm is in the same position as the next one whose trumpet is visible. Given the decoration showing a succession of rings, it could be a bamboo horn as on the outer western gallery of the Bayon.
  • A drum chime with nine elements (two are broken).
  • A conch, although the nature of the instrument is not discernible. There were probably two originally. 
  • A large shoulder carried drum. The support is broken. The representation of the drummer is singular: it was engraved on the surface of the drum so as not to hide the membrane. We already knew the little twirling players of the Bayon but here, the sculptor went further!
  • The cymbals and the cymbalist, normally required in this type of formation, are not identifiable due to the state of the bas-relief.

Contemporary survivals of the drum chime

The only countries in which the drum chime remains is Myanmar and Thailand where it is respectively named pat-waìng ပတ်ဝိုင်း and poeng mang เปิงมาง. Contrary to the instrument of Banteay Chhmar, it is not a portable but a fixed instrument.