Khamu overtone stick

Khamu dau dau (thorr)

musicians from a village near Chiang Khong

The instrument combines the character of an idiophone with that of an aerophone. It is found in parts of insular southeast Asia but in the mainland only amongst the Khamu. A piece of fresh bamboo 50-70 cm. long is trimmed with the bottom end 10-15 cm. below a node. Two blades are cut above the node. In some Khamu groups the node is left closed, in others it is open. A thumb hole and finger hole are cut on opposite sides of the tube. The tube is held against the thigh or arm and this along with the finger/thumb holes allows the player to control the overtones. Striking the tube makes a regular rhythm and the overtones add a mouth harp like quality to the sound.

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