Hnè

Name: Hné.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Heteroglots > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Myanmar.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The hné [in Burmese: နှဲ; also spelled hnè] is a conical shawm of double reed used in the music of Myanmar. The hne is used in an ensemble together with the pattala, tuned gongs and tuned drums.

Etymology: The earliest attested evidence fo thee word “hne” dates to 1491 AD and is likely a Middle Mon loan word, derived from sanoy.

Construction: The hne [in Burmese: နှဲ] has a sextuple reed called hnegan. The hnegan reed made from the young leaf of the toddy palm, which is soaked 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.

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: Bibliography: John Okell [1971] “The Burmese Double-Reed “Nhai””. Asian Music. University of Texas Press. 2 [1]: 25–31 ; hin 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 Websites:

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