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Music and musical instuments

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Burmese classical music
Description/subject: "Burmese classical music is performed in a number of different instrumental ensembles.The Western piano has been an important instrument in Burmese music since the years shortly before World War II. At times it has been re-tuned to match the Burmese tuning system but it is often used, as is, in its Western tempered tuning. The Burmese piano is heard in modern Burmese ensembles which play new popular music based on Burmese traditions. It is also used as a solo instrument and in traditional Burmese musical style in which selections from the classical repertoire, collectively known as the Maha Gita, are performed and used as a basis for improvised variation. During the heyday of silent films in Burma the piano, played in this typical Burmese style, was used almost exclusively..."
Language: Englilsh
Source/publisher: cartage.org
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: myanmar-xbands.com
Description/subject: "The only onlione (sic) access to the underground music world of myanmar" ... Downloads, profiles, photos etc.. Includes:- ALTERNATIVE: WAKIZZA; THE STUDENTS; PURPLE DUCK... METAL: 316; NAME; HOLY DEADZ; ODEZZY; OFFKEYS; PYIN SA GAN; TEMPER LEVEL VIII; TAH THAN LHYNN CHATE... MODERN ROCK: A.Z.O; IDIOT; THE SKOOL... POP: KWYAT... SINGLE ARTIST: DANIEL; B.B.
Language: English
Source/publisher: myanmar-xbands.com
Format/size: html, quicktime
Date of entry/update: 23 August 2005


Title: Youtube search results for "Burmese OR Myanmar Classical Music" (Video)
Description/subject: Several hundred results. Try other combinations like "Myanmar traditional music" etc.
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Individual Documents

Title: Rangoon Rocks to Reggae
Date of publication: October 2010
Description/subject: It’s taken more than 30 years, but reggae has finally arrived in Burma, joining rock, blues, rap and hip-hop on the country’s music scene.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 July 2012


Title: Tiger Girls on the Loose in Burma
Date of publication: September 2010
Description/subject: The Tiger Girls, Burma’s answer to the celebrated Spice Girls, are clawing their way rapidly to the top of the Burmese pop scene... "Burma’s first all-girl band took to the stage last February and since then has built up a large fan base—which doesn’t include members of the country’s censorship board, who took exception to some of the group’s more daring English language lyrics..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2010


Title: Burmese Band Rocks SEA
Date of publication: August 2010
Description/subject: A rock band from Burma, Unrivalled, won the second round of a rock music contest involving more than 3,000 bands from Southeast Asian nations held in Malaysia in June. The contest was organized by the Malaysia-based AirAsiaRedTix.com and MTV Asia.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 August 2010


Title: Crocodile Fears
Date of publication: May 2010
Description/subject: Mon musicians throw the spotlight on a threatened traditional instrument... "It’s called a “crocodile” because of its shape, but all associations linking the feared predator and this ancient Mon musical instrument end there. Despite its name, the Mon crocodile is a thing of beauty, producing beautiful sounds. And, like so many remnants of the past, it’s under threat..."
Author/creator: ASOHN VI
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2010


Title: Rapping the Regime
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: Young activists turn a musical trend into a political weapon... "Hip-hop, rap and politics make strange bedfellows, but the young people of Burma have found ways of using their favorite musical styles to get their political message across..."
Author/creator: Ko Htwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 3
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17932
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


Title: Victoria's Ark
Date of publication: February 2010
Description/subject: One woman’s campaign to preserve the music of the Golden Triangle hill tribes... "A simple snowflake became a tantalizing clue for anthropologists tracing the origins of the ethnic groups that populate the Golden Triangle region where the borders of Burma, Thailand and Laos meet...A Lahu Shi man with his baby and his drum. Photos: VLCTORIA VORRELTER The songs of these people are their substitute for a written history, according to Victoria Vorreiter, who spent five years documenting and recording the music, poetry and songs of six major ethnic groups: the Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Lisu and Mien..."
Author/creator: Jim Andrews
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 2
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17707
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: A Major Career Change
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: From army major to successful pop musician is a big leap, but Nay Ye Mann appears to have accomplished it with ease... "The former officer in the Burmese army’s engineering corps has engineered himself a front-ranking position on the Burmese music scene with clever promotional campaigns featuring glamorous models and handsome actors..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: Lay Phyu Makes a Comeback
Date of publication: February 2009
Description/subject: "The good news for Burma’s music scene is that popular rock star Lay Phyu is back in the spotlight. Lay Phyu’s comeback performance with his backing band, Iron Cross, has been booked for Mandalay in late January and is sure to be a sellout. The enigmatic rock star mysteriously walked out on the band in 2006 after a concert celebrating the 15th anniversary of the band’s founding. He reappeared in August last year at a Cyclone Nargis fundraising relief concert, but has never explained why he stopped performing for two years. Lay Phyu’s new album, Bay of Bengal, has hit the top of the Burmese charts, which he has dominated for years..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 February 2009


Title: From Rock to Romance
Date of publication: December 2008
Description/subject: Iron Cross: "Burma’s top rock band, also known as IC, is 17 years old but still hammering out a beat. When it was formed in 1991—by five musicians led by the late guitar virtuoso Saw Bwe Hmu, an ethnic Karen Christian—it played mostly cover versions of foreign numbers with Burmese lyrics. But songwriters Maung Maung Zaw Latt and L Phyu freed it from its reliance on such popular American bands as Metallica and won it critical acclaim and a wide public..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 12
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2008


Title: Burma’s Hip-hop Under Attack
Date of publication: May 2008
Description/subject: "BURMA’s hip-hop performers are now on the hit list of the authorities, who have grown increasingly nervous about their activities since the September 2007 demonstrations. Popular rap and hip-hop artist Yan Yan Chan is the latest to feel the regime’s displeasure. He was arrested in April, two months after the detention of his friend and fellow member of the ACID group, Zayar Thaw, who is being held in Rangoon’s Insein Prison. Where he is being held is unknown..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


Title: Sai Htee Saing: More Than a Shan Songster (Obituary)
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: " WHEN I heard of the death of Sai Htee Saing, his famous song “Nwe Ok Or” (“The Summer Cuckoo”) immediately echoed in my mind. Many of his fans thought this song best represented the frail-looking ethnic Shan singer whose sweet, simple tenor voice had charmed them for many decades..."
Author/creator: Amporn Jirattikorn
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Thangyat: Traditional Songs Hard to Suppress
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: "Thangyat is one of the oldest examples of Burmese folk art. Usually amusing and satirical, Thangyat combines poetry, dance and music and is sung to the beat of a traditional drum on festive occasions. In the past, during the Burmese New Year water festivals, or Thingyan, young people would publicly recite humorous Thangyat lyrics, which freely criticize everything from politics to social behavior. But the Burmese military generals have changed all that. In 1989, a year after taking power, the generals lost their sense of humor and banned public performances of Thangyat. However, Thangyat is still kept alive by exiled Burmese communities..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: CD Marks 20th Anniversary of 8-8-88
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: CD Marks 20th Anniversary of 8-8-88..."The journey of Burma’s democracy movement has inspired Burmese writer Yeni to produce a CD dedicated to the hopes, aspirations and struggles of the Burmese people in August 1988—and today. About 10 musicians based in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai perform on the CD, titled “New Light Festival” and produced by Yeni, a writer and senior journalist at The Irrawaddy magazine. Jo Rangsan Rasri Dip, the two-time winner of Thailand’s Season Award, honoring the best of the country’s music industry, co-produced the album and recorded it at his Duem Dontri studio in Chiang Mai..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Wild, Wild Wet
Date of publication: April 2005
Description/subject: "For the past 20 years or so, the movie Thingyan-moe has been an annual staple for Burmese celebrating their New Year Water Festival. It means ‘rain in the water festival’, and the strains of its musical score reverberate everywhere as Burmese throw water over each other. But the movie, stocked with traditional song and dance numbers from the northern capital of Mandalay, may now have a rival. This year, for the first time, bands representing the different cultures of Burma and the five other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region performed in Mandalay. The bands—from Cambodia, China’s Yunnan province, Laos, Vietnam and northern Thailand, as well as Burma—were invited by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism to take part in a special Thingyan traditional program there..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


Title: Burma’s Unfinished Symphony
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: "Is a national orchestra still just a midsummer night’s dream?... When the newly-constituted Burmese national symphony orchestra performed before an audience of dignitaries in Rangoon in September, the lifelong efforts of trailblazing musician Myo-ma Nyein were finally rewarded...
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: An Interview with Ad Carabao
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "I think I can be more like a bullet they could use in fighting back."... The Irrawaddy spoke recently with Yuenyong "Ad" Ophakul, of the Thai folk-rock band Carabao, about his recent solo release, "Don�t Cry" (Mai Dtong Rong Hai). The album, which combines reggae rhythms with strong lyrics expressing support for the Shan struggle for independence, is the artist�s latest foray into Burmese politics. The artist spoke about music and free expression in an interview with Wandee Suntivutimetee..."
Author/creator: Wandee Suntivutimetee
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: AND THE BAND PLAYED ON
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "The promotion of political ideas in a musical context has been a common feature of mass movements Southeast Asia. In Burma, where strict censorship prevails and military dictatorship still governs, the uneasy marriage of music and politics continues to be met with stiff resistance. Like other political movements in Southeast Asia, music has provided a rallying point for the masses during political upheavals in Burma. It has served as a potent response to the rapid political and social displacements brought on by neo-colonialism, industrialization, and dictatorship. At the same time, music has also been appropriated to serve the establishment by strengthening national cohesion, promoting entrenched power structures and spreading selected values and information to the multitudes..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10. No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burmese Pop Music: Identity in Transition
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "Dominated by cover songs derived from foreign imports, Burmese popular music continues to struggle to find its own voice. In a closed society like Burma, culture is all about preservation and less to do with innovation. Any creative breakthrough produces moral panic, not only in the minds of the powers that be, but also of the majority of folks. In a deep-down analysis, the structural interests of both politics and the market are the most decisive factors in shaping the creative capacity of the society at large. The 30-year-long journey of Burmese pop music can be seen in this light, since it is very much a product of this control culture and is still subject to the restrictive and exploitative political and market structure..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Straight Outta Rangoon
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "Rap music and Hip-Hop have gained a foothold in Rangoon, but many still prefer to step to a different beat. Sai Sai stands waiting backstage wearing his high-top Nike Air Jordans, both hands in the pockets of his oversized shorts that match his loose-fitting hooded sweatshirt. His friend, wearing a bandanna on his head beneath a New York Yankees baseball cap flipped backwards, talks to a fellow band-member sporting her favorite skintight jeans. They are waiting to perform along side some of Burma�s newest and hottest music stars in Rangoon at an outdoor concert�a rarity in a country where public gatherings of more than five people are officially prohibited..."
Author/creator: Shawn L. Nance/Rangoon
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Tonal Structure in Burmese Music as Exemplified in the Piano Music of U Ko
Date of publication: 05 November 1995
Author/creator: Robert Garfias
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003