side flutes

(Lisu jyylae baka; Lahu ja dae; Akha meli; Hmong dra jua; Karen pi ou; also played by the Kachin, Kokang, Padaung, Tai Lue and formerly the Mien). Instruments are closed at one end with a wooden block or the node of the bamboo. The side flute is less common than the duct flute. The Kachin, Kokang and Padaung play it in ensembles when accompanying dancing at festivities, the others solo for entertainment. Normally side flutes have 6 pitch holes (fingers); the Akha version has 5.

Side flute players

Kachin musician Northern Thailand

Lisu musician, Phrao

Padaung musician Chiang Rai

Black lahu musician, Soppong

The Kachin have a range of side flutes: sum pyi (6), pyi htawt (4), w.psumpyi (6), larung sum pyi (long,4). Apart from the number of finger holes (in brackets) I have no other details.

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