Type: Percussion > Xylophone > Idiophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.22
Country: Myanmar [Burma].
Region: South East Asia.
Description: The pattala [Burmese: ပတ္တလား patta.la: Burmese pronunciation: pattəlá in Karen: paw ku ; in Mon: ဗာတ် ကလာ] it is a Burmese xylophone, consisting of 24 bamboo slats [called ywet / ရွက် or asan အဆံ] suspended over a boat-shaped resonating chamber. It is played with two padded mallets.
The pattala is tuned similar to the diatonic scale. In pre-colonial Burma, the pattala was used in royal court music. In fact, when the piano was first introduced to the Burmese court in the late 1800s, it was tuned to the scale of the pattala.
In the late 20th century to 21st century Burmese classical or chamber music is accompanied by either the pattala or the saung-Gauk [the Burmese harp]. Both of which are capable of performing a harmonic countermelody. The pattala is also a key instrument in the Burmese ensemble orchestra, the hsaing waing. The pattala is also prominently featured in Burmese drama, anyeint.