Name: Chapei.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Tuning: G / C in the interval of a fifth.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Courses: 4 Strings / Double Course.
Country: Cambodia.
Region: South East Asia.

Cambodian musician playing Chapey, 1880

Description: The Chapei Dong Veng [In Khmer: ចាប៉ីដងវែង] or chapey [in Khmer: ចាប៉ី] it is a Cambodian long necked lute that is usually plucked.

Etymology: The word chapei or chapey derives from the Sanskrit kacchap(î), which designates a lute from ancient India. Kacchap(î) is also the source of the name krajappi, kracchapi, krachappi or grajabpi [กระจับปี่], the name of the “Thai chapei”.  The word kacchapi(i) itself derives from the Sanskrit kacchapa, literally “turtle”. Currently the the name Chapei Dong Veng is used in a formal context for this instrument.

The term chapei veng or chapei dang veng ចាប៉ី ដង វែង — also maybe written as dong veng chapei dong veng or chapey dong veng — This was adapted a few decades ago to derivative lute, the chapei touch or chapei dang klei, which seems to be created in the second half of the twentieth century. It had a shorter handle, but it has now disappeared.

Construction: The Chapei has a thin narrow body made from jackfruit tree, it has a buzzing bridge and 12 raised frets in the following order D1 / E2 / F3 / G4 / A5 / B6 / C7 / D8 / E9 / F10 / G11 / A12. A tailpiece is added at the back. The strings are attached at from the tail end to head stock. The chapei is strung with nylon strings. Raised frets are found on Far East Asian, South and South East Asian lutes. This allows note bending, both for achieving note change and instrumental ornamentation.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: History Sit De Chepei! ; Chapey Maker promoting, not just preserving traditional instrument ~ / Article Published October 10, 2017 ; YouTube Video ~ Chapey Dong Veng ~ Demonstration ;

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