Music in Thailand
Since the 1900's, western music has influenced the music in Thailand, but classical music and ensembles is still common. The three main types of classical ensembles are the Piphat, the Mahori and the Kruang Sai.
The Piphat ensemble is made up of percussion and wind instruments. The most common Piphat is known as the piphat mai khaeng. This ensemble uses the Xylophones, such as the Ranat Ek, and Ranat Ek Lek, and also uses wind instrumenst such as the Pi Nai. Gong circles such as the Khong Wong Lek are also used in this ensembles. Piphat ensembles sometimes use hard mallets, and sometimes use soft mallets. There are many different types of Piphats, and each are normally associated with a certain festival or ceremonial purposes.
Khruang Sai EnsemBle
The Khruang Sai ensemble is made up of mostly stringed instruments, but also a few hand drums and cymbols. The Khruang Sai normally is made up of the stringed instruments of Thailand, but occasionally will incorperate a violin into it. This ensemble is the quietest ensemble, it is used to accompany singing, dancing, and on holidays. There are several different types of Khruang Sai ensembles, which use different combinations of the stringed instruments.
The Mahori ensemble was traditionally made up of women. The Mahori played in the courts of Thailand. The Mahori is made up of instruments from both the Piphat, and Kruang Sai ensembles. Because women were who originally made up this ensemble, they used smaller instruments because it was thought that it was more appropiate for women, who are smaller then men, to use smaller instruments then men. Now, regular sized instruments are used in this ensemble and both men and women can be found in this ensemble.