Royal Anthem of Siam (THAILAND)
November 4, 2009, 11:02 am
Filed under: Thailand

Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami (เพลงสรรเสริญพระบารมี) is the Thai Royal Anthem. The music, composed by the Russian composer Pyotr Schurovsky, was the national anthem of Siam until 1932, when it was replaced by Phleng Chat. Most versions I’ve heard include the lyrics that were composed by Prince Narisaranuvadtivongs, around 1913, and were later revised by King Rama VI.

This record has two different versions of the royal anthem.

Side one (6082) is performed by พิณพาทย์ พระยาประสานดุริยศัพท์ (phinphat phraya prasanduriyasap). Phraya Prasanduriyasap is a famous maestro. He was teacher to Thailand’s most famous thai classical composer Luang Pradit Phairoh (on whose life the film “The Overture” is based).
Here’s a pic of Phraya Prasanduriyasap:


Side two (6093) is by แตรวงกรมทหารมหาดเล็ก (traewong krom thahan mahat lek) a branch of the Thai Royal Army.

There are many recordings of this anthem, but this is the first I’ve heard played by a piphat (classical) ensemble.The royal anthem is ubiquitous in Thailand, being played before official functions, films and on television.

>HMV P 6082
>HMV P 6093

HMV 6082HMV 6093

Thanks again to Peter Doolan, from  MONRAKPLENGTHAI, for translation and general info!


The Prince of the Golden Conch (THAILAND)
October 26, 2009, 10:09 am
Filed under: Thailand

Thailand has an amazingly rich, diverse musical culture. It ranges from classical xylophone based ensembles (piphat) to funky rural genres like luk thung and molam.

This recording is of ระบำดาวดึงษ์ (Rabam Daowadueng), from the famous lakhon sang thong, a dance-drama written during the reign of king Rama II (1809-1824) and derived from the Jataka tales (a collection of folktales about the births of Buddha). The lyrics to this dance describe the second level of heaven; the abode of the god indra, who lends much assistance to the play’s protagonist, Phra Sang, the conch-shell prince. The story has many magical elements, such as an ogres who dies of a broken heart. There’s a brief plot summary here.

The performers are a piphat (classical) ensemble คณะดุริยะปราณีต (khana duriya pranit), along with a group of singers. originally this would have been an all-male production, at least in terms of the actors.

Piphat is the ensemble used for classical Thai music. There are several forms of piphat ensemble with different instrumental configurations, the basic form consists of the pi nai (oboe), ranat (xylophone), khong wong wai (gong circle) and various percussion instruments. The Cambodian version is called pinpeat.

>Columbia GET 443-1


Thanks to Peter Doolan for translation and general info, he’ll be pitching in here while we explore some Thai records. Be sure to check out his amazing and informative Thai cassette blog MONRAKPLENGTHAI.