Name: Phin Pya.

Type: Fret-less Zither > Chordophone.

Region: Thailand > Far East Asia.

Dimensions: Length 91 cm.

Acquisition Date:

Acquisition Source: Randy Raine-Reusch.

The phin pya (in Thai) and kse diev (In Cambodian) is a chordophone that is classified as a stick-zither. The word "pin" come from from the Sanskrit word "veena" or bin respectively. Eight to ten centuries ago, the distribution of the phin pya was wide, ranging from India to Indonesia and as far as the Cham kingdom in Vietnam. Today the phin pya is found in Northern Thailand and in neighbouring Cambodia.

In the Lanna culture men would play the phin pya to serenade women in a romantic setting. Traditionally the phin pya is is played in ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. Murals depicting musicians performing on the phin pya, are found in Viharn Laikam, Thailand.

Repertoire: Throughout Thailand and Cambodia two stringed phin pya are common. Compositions have been arranged for the phin pya performed by small chamber orchestras. In the 20th century compositions for this instrument have been written. In Thai classical orchestras the phin pya is accompanied by the grajapbi (lute) and recently played to accompany singing.

Playing Technique: The phin pya is held upright in a vertical position closest to the chest. The end-tip is pointed downwards to the ground. A technique of harmonics is applied by the left hand lightly touching the string and the left hand plucking either strings. Only a few notes are played during performance and the timbre of the phin pya is very quiet.