Gong Culture Of South East Asia Vol 3: Bahnar

Various - Gong Culture Of South East Asia Vol 3: Bahnar


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The Bahnar are an ethnic group in Vietnam, living from the north to the south and northeast of the Vietnamese central highlands. Bahnar speak a language in the Mon-Khmer language group.

These recordings were conducted in Dak Doa, Gia Lai Province. Bahnar people use both knobbed gongs and flat gongs; knobbed gongs mostly have a rhythmic function, the flat gongs are used for melodies. Usually a gong ensemble comprises 8 or 9 gongs in total (6 flat gongs and 2 or 3 knobbed gongs), but the number of gongs can go up to 20 (10 flat gongs, 10 knobbed gongs) or even 22 (11 flat and 11 knobbed).

For this recording, the musicians brought different sorts of sharpened twig as drumsticks. the biggest knobbed gong was played by a jackfruit twig. For Bahnar people, gongs - equivalent in value to several water buffaloes - are acquired through exchanges with the people from Laos, Cambodia and nowadays with Kinh groups of Vietnam. Gong music is commonly played among the Bahnar on particular occasions such as harvesting, funeral, buffalo sacrifice, wedding ceremonies, etc.


  1. Go Rech – Giữ Chim - Chase The Birds To Protect The Rice 
  2. Brô Tok Bre Mai – Cô Gái Mừng Xuân - The Girls Celebrate Spring 
  3. Đâm Trâu - Music For The Buffalo Sacrifice 
  4. Bi Ruih – Mừng Lúa Mới - Rice Harvest Celebration 
  5. Pơ Thi – Bỏ Mả - Song At Funeral 1 (Before Burial) 
  6. Pơ Thi – Bỏ Mả - Song At Funeral 2 (Before Burial) 
  7. Dân Ca - Folk Song 


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