Last update: December 5, 2023
This bamboo tube zither has variable number of metal strings according to ethnic groups and musicians. The pegs are distributed on the central part of the tube and the strings on half of its circumference. On the upper part is fixed a hollowed out gourd acting as a resonator. Some strings are dedicated to the melody, others to the accompaniment; each one has a specific name. This instrument is the modernized version of the idiochord zither.
On this entertaining instrument, the musician interprets the melody of the songs or accompanies his own singing.
The music of the ethnic minorities of Ratanakiri consists of short melodic-rhythmic cycles. Traditionally, the melodic basis is the songs played by gong sets with rhythmic accompaniment. The tube zither reproduces, with its own means, both the melody and the accompaniment.
Several ethnic minorities of Ratanakiri, as well as the Bunong of Mondulkiri, play this type of zither.
Kong ting zither. This sequence was shot in the Tampuon village of Leung Chuong on December 26, 2010. Musician: Mel Lit, 28 years old. He interprets the piece chum hô.
This sequence was shot in Banlung in March 2012. This Tampuon musician was, at that time, one of the oldest to still play this instrument.
Nyel Che was a brilliant musician, author, composer, arranger and performer. He died in 2014. We recorded him in his village of Mondulkiri, Pu Tam No. 4, on December 11, 2010. His zither, kong raing, has eight strings.