Mar Mar Aye (BURMA)
February 21, 2010, 7:50 pm
Filed under: Burma

Mahagita (Sanskrit for “Great Songs”) is the term used to describe the Burmese classical repertoire. Some Mahagita songs are hundreds of years old and written down only as song-poems, there’s no music notation in the Burmese classical tradition.

This beautiful record is by the venerable singer Mar Mar Aye, who currently lives in the United States at age 67 and is unable to return to Burma for political reasons.

Mar Mar Aye is known for her long and elaborate medley’s that are quite complex and difficult to perform. Here she sings the second half of Hnit Kan Pyaing Pou Zar (“Young Lovers United by Destiny,” approximately), composed by Ko Bo Khin and backed by the Myo Ma band. The band consists of piano, pat waing (tuned drum circle), violin and percussion.

As in most of Southeast Asia, there was quite a proliferation of independent labels in Burma in the 1940s and 1950s after years of domination by the Gramophone Company and HMV. Considering that Mar Mar Aye was born in 1942 this record must date from the late 1950s or early 1960s. This is one of the few records I’ve come across on the Toe Naing (Dragon) label.

>Toe Naing TNC 299b


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for Post this and the other great burmese recordings,

Comment by michael

Nice article, thanks.

Comment by Hans

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