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an impression to
CAMBODIAN MUSIC
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Its history or origins.

You have interests in its history? Sorry, I know very little of it. Other sites might supply your demand.


Ceremonial/Ritual Music in Cambodia.

I have at hand only one CD of the genre, "The Music of Cambodia", World Music Gala Collection 20, King Record, KICC 5520, 1992, Japan. Originally released by Ocora in France as "Les musiques de Ramayana, volume 2, Cambodge", 1990. It contains a live performance of "Reamker" by Choeur et orchestre du Ballet Royal, at Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt de Paris, June 27, 1964.

"Reamker" is a Khmerian version of "Ramayana" (an epic of ancient India) performed with dance, chorus and music traditionally at the ceremony in the court. The performance used to continue for days and nights with some hundred performers in the past, and from 1930's on, the digest version of 1 and a half hour is usually played.


Some Features of "Reamker".

It may hear rather monotonous or unvarying at first impression. But this is truly a profound and inspiring music. The sound of xylophones is characteristic and leads the melody. Bells (not so often but effective), drums (monadic, that is, discrete and continuous at the same time), harmonious small cymbals (we must say "exotic"), woodwinds (cut-in carnival-likely), incantation-like chorus also creates hypnotic and meditational sound-scape. Its minimalistic but complex sound structure and atmosphere inspired some modern European music (ex. This Heat).


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Copyright © 1996 KIWADA Kats-Hiro
Last Modified: May 13, 1998