Monday, October 2, 2017

Thai Musical Instruments :: Around The World From 80 Countries

Musicians in Thailand play two different versions of a stringed instrument known as a saw. In both cases, the musician holds the saw vertically in his lap and places the bow between the two strings. How the bow is tilted affects the sound as the bigger inner string has a lower pitch. There are no frets but where along the neck the musicians presses the strings also determines pitch.

Carved detail on back side

 The Saw U is the larger of the two versions of this instrument. The bottom part is often made of a large coconut shell or gourd, with the end cut off and a piece of goat or calfskin stretched across.  The back is carved in a pattern which is not only decorative but also allows the sound to escape through many holes. The Saw U produces a lower, more mellow tone than other saws.

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon