Mi Gyaung

Name: Mi Gyaung.
Type: Chordophones > Simple > Zithers > Box > Fretted
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 314.122
Tuning: F / C / F
Country: Myanmar.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The mi gyaung [in Burmese: မိကျောင်း in IPA: [mḭ dʑáʊɰ̃] or kyam [in Mon: pronounced; in IPA: /cam/ or as “chyam”]. The name in “mi gyaung” Burmese is literally translated into “crocodile zither”.

History: In the 9th Century, several Burmese musicians were sent to the Tang Dynasty court in China. Among the instruments they presented to the emperor were the saun-gauk [harp], klene [mouth organ] and mi-gyaung, all chamber instruments.

Construction: It is a crocodile shaped plucked box zither having raised frets and three strings. The strings buzz when played not unlike the related Chakhe or Krapeu of Thailand and Cambodia. that is played in Burma. It is associated with the Mon people.

Citations: Bibliography: Terry E. Miller [2008]. Thailand. The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music. Routledge. p. 130. Websites: Met Museum / Mi Gyaung / ;

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