Filed under: Burma
Here’s a good example of a Burmese “modern song” that shifts back and forth between Burmese and Western instrumentation and style. This record features the well known singer Pyi Hla Pe who was also a member of the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture was formed in 1952 to promote traditional culture and recently made the unfortunate ruling that Western instruments cannot be in traditional hsain waing ensembles.
Although this song doesn’t feature a hsain waing orchestra (a classical ensemble with gong circle and xylophones), it does include Western instruments such as piano, Hawaiian guitar and violin.
Like many of the mid-century Burmese modern songs, this is a love song called Papa Win, meaning “A Very Special Beauty.”
Since this is a two part song, I’ve included both sides of the record in one mp3 file.
Thanks to the excellent Burmese pianist Sandaya Aung Win (Phillip Aung-Win) for help with this post.
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