Chake

Name: Chakhe.
Type: Chordophones > Zithers > Long > Fretless.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 314.122.4
Tuning: C / G / C
Country: Thailand, Cambodia.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The chakhe [in Thai: จะเข้, pronounced t͡ɕā.kʰêː] also jakhe or ja-khe, or krapeu [in Khmer: ក្រពើ; also called takhe, Khmer: តាខេ, takhe, takkhe or charakhe]. It is is a fretted long zither or lute that is played while the musician and the instrument are on the floor. Having three strings it is used in Thai and Khmer music. The Thai and the Khmer instrument are virtually identical.

Construction: It is made of hardwood in a stylized crocodile shape and is approximately 20 cm high and 130–132 cm long. The “head” portion is 52 cm in length, 28 cm in width and 9–12 cm deep; the “tail” portion 81 cm long and 11.5 cm wide. It has eleven chakhe [raised frets] or twelve krapeu that are made of bamboo, ivory, bone or wood, graduated between 2 cm and 3.5 cm in height which are affixed to the fretboard with wax or glue. Its highest two strings are made of silk yarn, catgut or nylon while the lowest is made of metal. They are tuned C / G / c. The instrument is usually supported by three or five legs.

Citations: Bibliography: Terry E. Miller; Sam-Ang Sam 1995 ; The Classical Musics of Cambodia and Thailand: A Study of Distinctions. p. 232 ; Terry E. Miller 2008 “Thailand” – The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music. Routledge. p. 130 ; Sam-Ang Sam 2008 ; “The Khmer People of Cambodia”. The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music. Routledge. p. 95 ;

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