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Home | Vietnam | Art Performance | The Mong khen
The Mong khen

The khen is a musical inst Lent used by the Mong ethnic minority, who call it the kcnh, while the Viet gave it the name Mong Khen (previously Meo khen . The Ede ethnic minor in the Central Highlands use a similar instrument called ding nam)
It is a wind instrument with an age-old history (about 2,500-3,000 years).
The present-day Khen is a polyphonic instrument in the shape of a set of bamboo pipes of varying sizes arranged in two rows. All the pipes go through a wooden air-chamber. Each pipe is fitted with a reed made of a thin strip of copper, the section of the pipe with the reed lying inside, the air-chamber. The part of the pipe lying outside it shows a finger-hole.
The pipe into which the blowing is made lies at right angles with the pipes with finger holes.
The sound of the khen is not very clear but nonetheless quite strong, the deepest notes being rather dull.
The Mong play the Khen on various occasions, including funerals when drums accompany it. When it is played by one person- the soloist accompanies the music with dancing in which much vigorous knee-bending, body-turning, kicking... is performed.

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