November 22, 2009, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Thailand

The various musics of Thailand were widely recorded during the 78 era, but there are many excellent recordings from the 60s released on 45 rpm 7 inch records as well. Often these 45s contain great traditional music and include some styles that were not recorded widely, if at all, on 78.

Such is the case with this 7 inch record on the Rabbit label. One side is some rather uninteresting pop music in the ramwong style. But the side we’re listening to here is muay thai, that is, music played during Thai kickboxing matches. Muay thai is a popular fighting sport that exists in different versions all across Southeast Asia and is hundreds of years old. The music is used to accompany the fighting. It begins slowly while the boxers pay their respects to their teachers and then increases in intensity as the fight escalates. I suppose there were many sports that used ritualistic musical accompaniment in the past, but this is one of the last, as far as I know.

The main instrument is the pi, the Thai “oboe”, which is related to many shawm-like instruments across Asia. The percussion instruments consist of , a pair of drums called klong kaak, the tiny finger cymbals called ching, and the gong called kong mong.

The 45s hold about twice as much music per side as a 78, so this is a nice long track. I wonder if it was recorded during an actual match?

>Rabbit 508a


3 Comments so far
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Man, that’s fantastic – almost free jazz like at points. Sounds like The Mascara Snake from Trout Mask Replica swiped that sound!

Comment by JW

Are the artists’ names anywhere on the record?

Comment by Peter J. King

Wild Sound

Comment by Michael

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