Hne

Name: Hne.
Type: Double Reed > Aerophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Myanmar [Burma].
Region: South-East Asia.

Description: The hne [in Burmese: နှဲ; also spelled as hnè] is a conical shawm of double reed used in the music of Myanmar. The earliest extant written occurrence of the word hne dates to 1491 AD and is likely a Middle Mon loan word, derived from sanoy.

The hne has a sextuple reed [called hnegan] made from the young leaf of the toddy palm [Borassus flabellifer L.] which is soaked in water for six months. The body of the hne is made of wood, with a conical bore and seven finger holes at the front, set in a straight line, with a bell [ချူ, chu] hung at the top. It has a flaring metal bell and has a loud tone, and is used in an ensemble together with xylophone, tuned gongs, and tuned drums.

There are two distinct forms: the smaller form is called the hne galay [နှဲကလေး] whilst the larger is called the hne gyi [နှဲကြီး]. The former is used for songs in the ordinary key of the diatonic major scale, while the latter is used for grand style songs in the subdominant mode

Citations: Okell, John 1971 The Burmese Double-Reed “Nhai”. Asian Music. University of Texas Press. 2 : pp 25–31 ; Khin Zaw 1940. Burmese Music [A Preliminary Enquiry]. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. School of Oriental and African Studies. 10 -3: 738.

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