Koni

Name: Koni.
Type: Bowed > Chordophones.
Family: Spike-Fiddles.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.313
Country: Vietnam.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The koni is a very unique form of a bowed upright chordophone that is only found in Vietnam. Originating as a single stringed bowed monochord of the Jarai people who live in the central highlands of Vietnam. The koni in its modern form is used by a small number of musicians associated with the Hanoi Conservatory of Music.

Playing Techniques: The koni is played in a half kneeling position, with the base of the instrument held to the ground between the toes of the left foot. The modern koni now has two strings and is held gripped between the player’s legs while in a sitting position.

Construction: The koni lacks a resonating chamber or sound-box. However a chord attached to the bottom of the strings are two pieces of silk, which run a small bamboo or plastic disk held in the players mouth. The players mouth behaves as the resonating chamber. Precise movements of the players lips and tongue can create a very vast array of tonal colour that give the koni its unique sound.