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Narkong, Anant (1992) Aspects of improvisation in Thai classical drumming : with special reference to the Taphon. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This research is intended to clarify ideas about Thai music by looking at the relationship of the basic nathap (drumming pattern) and the sai-making ('improvisation' for Thai drumming) in the context of actual performance. The taphon, the double-headed barrel drum used in the different types of ensembles in Thai classical music, is chosen to be the focus of the study. The thesis is divided in to two parts. In part 1, three main issues are proposed to be studied; a) a general description of the drum. This chapter includes the general description of the taphon', the myths and history of the taphon which link it with other Asian musical cultures, other drums of the taphon-type, and the place of the taphon in music ensembles; b) the traditional process of music transmission in taphon lessons. Here the initiation ceremony, yok kru, and the teacher homage ceremony, wai kru, are examined, the taphon tuning, the basic techniques of playing the taphon, the basic strokes, the taphon exercises and the early lessons of nathap and sai are discussed; and c) the drum pattern, nathap, including the definition, the history and development of nathap, the relationship of nathap to other aspects of the rhythmic structure of Thai music, and finally the classification of naihap. Part II is an analysis of nathap and sai-making by investigating the micro and macro structure of the performed nathap songfnai in two selected pieces, phleng si nuan chan song and phi eng khaek borrathet thao. The attention is paid to the process of analysis by applying the concepts of statistical, structural and graphical study to examine the features of nathap and sai. The data for this research are based upon source readings, the transcriptions which are transcribed from the video recordings made by the Centre of Music Studies, S.O.A.S. in 1990, and the author's knowledge as a drum student and drumming experience in Thailand.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
Additional Information: Thesis digitised by Proquest LLC
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Copyright Statement: © The Author
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2018 13:28

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