Mouth organ


Texts, photos, videos : © Patrick Kersalé 1998-2020, except special mention.


The mouth organ is one of the oldest instruments in Southeast Asia. This one (mbuat) has 6 bamboo pipes, 4 at the top and 2 at the bottom, each with a bamboo or brass free reed imprisoned in a gourd acting as an air distribution chamber. The pipes are attached to the gourd with wax. Each tube is pierced with a small hole that the musician plugs to set the reed in vibration. It is an entertainment instrument. 

This instrument is also known among several ethnic groups in Vietnam. Its principle always remains the same, only the distribution of the pipes varies.

This sequence was shot on December 11, 2010 in the village of Pu Tam No. 4 (Mondulkiri). This 80-year-old musician, Mr. Yue M'Bra, was one of the last practitioners.