mor lam laos music
history of Thai music?
can someone please help me, i need it for my homework.. thanks :]
I had the same homework as you…so…here u go 🙂
Music of Thailand – History
Thailand retains cultural connections with the two great centers of Asian civilizations, India and China. Though Thailand was never colonized by Western powers, pop music and other forms of European and American music have become extremely influential. The two most popular styles of modern Thai music are mor lam and luk thung, which have important influences from Laos and other neighboring nations.
Aside from the Thai, minorities of Laotians, Lawa, Hmong, Akha, Mien, Lisu, Karen and Lahu peoples have retained traditional musical forms.
A distinctive Thai culture did not exist until 1257, when the kingdom of Sukhothai was created. Music was an important part of life during this period, and what is now known as Thai classical music arose during the Ayuthaya period. Music flourished for the next few centuries, in spite of occasional oppression from monarchs like Rama I.
Pleng luk thung
Pleng luk thung, or Thai country music, was invented in the early 1950s to reflect daily trials and tribulations of rural Thais. Ponsri Woranut and Suraphon Sombatjalern were the genre’s first big stars, and helped incorporate influences from Latin America, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and, especially, American film soundtracks and country music (including yodelling). Many of the most popular pleng luk thung stars have come from the central city of Suphanburi, including future megastar Pompuang Duanjan, who adapted pleng luk thung to 1980s string and pop music by making a dance-ready form called electronic luk thung. When Pompuang died in 1992, many observers felt that luk thung would die with her, but it persisted and, with the advent of the first all luk thung radio station in 1997, soon saw a major revival.
There is a large minority of Laotians in Isan, the Northeastern region of Thailand, and they are known for mor lam music. Mor lam has long had an affinity with luk thung, and many of the genre’s biggest stars, like Chalermphol Malaikham and Jintara Poonlarp, are heavily influenced by luk thung. Mor lam is a distinctively Laotian genre, and can be characterized by rapid-fire, rhythmic vocals and a funk feel to the percussion. Mor lam is played by a mor khaen, who plays the khaen, and a lead singer also called a mor lam.
There are about fifteen regional variations of mor lam, and there are modern versions as well. Mor lam sing is the best-known of these, nad has become popular all over Isan, as well as in Laos. Some conservative Laotians have criticized this as the commercialization of traditional cultures.
The people of Isan are also known for kantrum, which is much less famous for mor lam. Kantrum is played by Cambodians living near the border with Cambodia. It is a swift and very traditional dance music. In its purest form, cho-kantrum, singers, percussion and fiddles dominate the sound. A more modern form using electric instrumentation arose in the mid-1980s. Later in the decade, Darkie became the genre’s biggest star, and he crossed into mainstream markets in the later 1990s.
Pop and rock
By the 1930s, however, Western classical music, showtunes, jazz and tango were popular. Soon, jazz grew to dominate Thai popular music, and Khru Eua Sunthornsanan soon set up the first Thai jazz band. The music he soon helped to invent along with influential band Suntharaporn was called pleng Thai sakorn, which incorporated Thai melodies with Western classical music. This music continued to evolve into luk grung, a romantic music that was popular with the upper-class.
By the 1960s, Western rock was popular and Thai artists began imitating bands like Cliff Richard & the Shadows; this music was called wong shadow, and it soon evolved into a form of Thai pop called string. The following decade saw Rewat Buddhinan beginning to use the Thai language in rock music, and by the 1980s, this had evolved into what was called string. The 70s also saw the rise of protest songs called pleng phua cheewit.
The earliest pleng phua cheewit (songs for life) band was called Caravan, and they soon emerged at the forefront of a movement for democracy. In 1976, police and rightwing activists attacked students at Thammasat University; Caravan, along with other bands and activists, fled for the rural hills. There, Caravan continued playing music for local farmers, and composed what is now their most famous song, “Khon Gap Kwaii”.
In the 1980s, pleng phua cheewit re-entered the mainsteam with a grant of amnesty to dissidents. Bands like Carabao became best-sellers and incorporated sternly nationalistic elements in their lyrics. By the 1990s, pleng phua cheewit had fallen from the top of the Thai charts, though artists like Pongsit Kamphee continued to command a large audience.
String pop took over mainstream listeners in Thailand in the 90s, and bubblegum pop stars like Tata Young and Asanee & Wasan became best-sellers. Simultaneously, Britpop influenced alternative rock artists like Modern Dog became popular.
The earliest Thai ensembles were called piphat, and they included woodwind and percussion instruments, originally in order to accompany the theater. Another ensemble type, khruang sai, added stringed instruments, while mahori further added melodic percussion instruments.
The Thai scale includes seven equal notes, instead of a mixture of tones and semitones. Instruments improvise around the central melody.
First and foremost, for a great overview of the music, refer to Wikipedia‘s entry on Mor lam. You will find it much copied by other websites — it is even on a page of the excellent review site Morlam Luktung. It mightn’t hurt to flesh out that Wikipedia education by also referring to their article on Music of Laos.
Know Phuket included this style of music in their good overview Thailand’s music when they published a piece titled Thai Music – Mor Lam back in July 8, 2009. It was a very superficial article, but it did have some useful links.
Also have a look at WoWasis TravelBlog‘s Morlam music: an Isaan pastiche of city and country.
A deeper article on Morlam Music is that of AFA (Academic Film Archive).
The Teak Door forum posted a page on Lao Music where they embedded some choice videos.
There are some websites that focus on the music of that region of Southeast Asia which you might profit from taking a look at — for example, Mekong Music. It is quite an easy matter to become so engrossed in sites such as these that one spends far more time with the visit than may have been initially budgeted, so be warned. If this tends to be a problem for you, then avoid Lao Music Paradise — the videos and audio links will surely seize you with a firm hold.
An instructive look at the cultural resurgence taking place today in Thailand is Harvard Asia Pacific Review‘s Multiculturism in Thailand? Cultural and Regional Resurgence in a Diverse Kingdom:
…Cultural resurgence among Thailand’s ethnic minorities is most visible in the area of popular culture. The ethnic Lao culture of the northeast has witnessed a revival in the form of commercialized popular music. Widely heard on Thailand’s radio stations today, Mor Lam is a traditional music style rooted in Lao musical traditions and sung in Lao. Mor Lam has undergone a transformation from its folk music origins into a commercialized folk-rock genre Mor Lam stars appear on music shows broadcast on national television, and Mor Lam cassette tapes are sold all over the country….
Lao Morlam music received some attention in a book titled World Music: Latin and North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, Volume 2. You can see an excerpt here: World Music. I understand that this tome was published in the year 2000, and must be quite something. I don’t know about a hard copy, but Amazon sells it as a paperback and also an audio CD:
New versions are not inexpensive, but used ones certainly appear to be.
As an April 19, 2012, edit to this post, here are a few further references you may or may not care to visit:
Mor Lam’s roots are older and originate in the northeast Thailand region known as Isaan, which has close ties to Laos. The music derives from a tradition of singers relating a tale of woe over a melody provided by the khene, …
Publish Date: 01/05/2012 13:55
Luk thung’s cousin is the music called mor lam whose roots floated from Laos into the northern Thai region of Isan. The central instrument identified with mor lam is the khene, a mouth organ that looks like two long pan pipes …
Publish Date: 04/28/2011 14:06
One of the aspects of Thai culture that I’m hoping to learn more about while I’m in Thailand is mor lam. mor lam is a style of music that often gets described as “Thai country music”, but that’s a really, really bad descriptor, as it brings up ideas of American country music and mor lam is certainly its own thing. It’s associated with the Isan region of Thailand and Laos and comes in two major flavours, mor lam and mor lam sing. I first heard mor lam at a Red Cross Festival in Kalasin, back in …
Publish Date: 06/19/2011 23:11
I thoroughly enjoy almost every kind of Thai music, from the Mor Lam of Issan, to the pop music of Bangkok. My only exceptions would be the rap and head-banger varieties, and I hate those in English as well. There is something about the …
Publish Date: 10/08/2011 7:26
Lukthung & Morlam – Thai country music … For a change some Lao lukthung/morlam and this artist, Mekkara Sabaphone, from Lao Art Media. Lets start with “pid huk pid … So overall then a good morlam album. Rating : 8/10 …
Publish Date: 05/18/2008 18:01
Lao folk music, known as lam (khap in the north), a unique call-and-response singing style which derives its melodies from word tones, is believed to be a direct legacy of the pre-Buddhist era of spirit communication and epic recitation. … Glawn or gaun (Thai กลอน) is a verse form commonly used in traditional mor lam, made up of four-line stanzas, each with seven basic syllables (although sung glawn often includes extra, unstressed syllables).
Publish Date: 11/17/2008 15:28
หมอลำ or “MOLAM” music is coming from Laos and “ISAN” area (อีสาน – northeastern part of Thailand). Molam music lyrics tell the singers’ own stories, the village life, tragic love stories and labor exploitation. “MOLAM” is rhythmically powerful, …
Publish Date: 11/22/2006 19:13
That was my start in music. He opened my ears to all kinds of folk music. When I was bit older I heard the Lao folk style mor lam. I went to all night mor lam parties. I used to look around me and see only old people, my father, my uncle. I was the …
Publish Date: 07/10/2003 1:32
And much of it has been forgotten. Laos shares much of its musical heritage with Thailand. Molam (or Mor lam), Lam luang and Lam ploen – which was influenced by Luk thung – can be found in both countries, especially the …
Publish Date: 07/11/2009 20:56
Peter goes into detail on the source of Thai country music, which has its roots in Laos, which is famous for mor lam music, a similar country music. He goes through some of the older stars and their musical styles. He appears …
Publish Date: 03/23/2010 0:00
mor lam laos music
Lao Music Video- Lum Siphandon 2
Uploaded by nazer77baolao on Dec 9, 2011
Lao Mor Lum Music Video Lum Siphandon Lao Song
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