Classes opened in Nghia Lo to share panpipe making, playing techniques

  •  Monday, September 28, 2020

YBO - Authorities of Nghia Lo town have opened training courses to teach locals how to make and play “khen be” (a type of traditional panpipes). After attending those classes, many local residents are now able to create panpipes by themselves.

Participants in the second “khen be” making class in Nghia Lo town.
Participants in the second “khen be” making class in Nghia Lo town.

The classes aim to preserve the making of "khen be” so as to help inspire the love for traditional musical instruments and bring into play traditional cultural values of the Thai ethnic people in the Muong Lo – Nghia Lo area. They also look to create unique souvenirs for domestic and foreign visitors and provide conditions for seeking the recognition of the Thai ethnic group’s art of playing "khen be” as cultural heritage.

Since late August, the second panpipe making class has been held at the home of artisan Cam Van Hoa in Muong Cha hamlet of Hanh Son commune, Nghia Lo town. All the 15 participants in this class share the love for "khen be” and are able to play the instrument. They even include a 75-year-old man who is Vi Van Ngan, a resident in Ngoa village of Pu Trang ward.

Teachers of this class are artisans and those who took part in the first class opened in Son La province in May, such as artisan Cam Van Hoa, Le Thanh Tung – a teacher at the Ly Tu Trong Primary and Junior High School, and Cam Van Man – son of Cam Van Ngoan who was a famous panpipe maker in the Muong Lo area in the past.

Under the teachers’ direct instructions, learners have been able to perform all "khen be” making steps by themselves, from choosing materials and drilling holes to arranging tubes to form a complete instrument. Most of them can also play the panpipes now.

The opening of those classes is one of the tasks for 2020 set in a plan to preserve and promote the values of "khen be” of the Thai people in the Muong Lo area. The plan of the Nghia Lo People’s Committee targets that the town will have five to ten people skilled at producing the panpipes and capable of teaching the making to others. It also looks to have about 100-150 local people of all ages skilled at playing the instrument.

Three more similar classes are expected to be held in the time to come.

Thu Hanh

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