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Pi Doi

is an airophone of reed branch. This is a quite popular instrument in Thai minority, notably the Thai in the northwest.

Pi Doi is made from 2 small hornless bamboo tubes that are parallel bound and share the same diameter of 1cm, the same length varying from 30 to 35cm, and closed at one end with nodes. Right at the node of each tube, a rectangular hole of 0.4cm x 1.5cm dimension is pierced and placed with a bronze reed of isosceles triangular shape. There are 6 finger holes on each tube, of which, the first finger hole is at the backside of the tube and 7 cm distant from the reed, while the other five holes are vertical to the reed. For the joint area of the two tubes, 2 communicative holes are pieced at a point of 13 cm far from the reed. When Pi Doi is played, there will be an ostinato part. Range of Pi Doi includes Do1, Sol1, La1, Do2, Re2, Mi2, Fa2.

When playing, instrumentalist holds Pi Doi vertically, and holds in his mouth the entire ends having reeds and then blows. Pi Doi employs techniques such as vibration, appoggiatura, air accent and pressure. Timbres of Pi Doi are sonorous, clear, somewhat imbued with overtones, giving lyrical but exciting sounds mixed with cracked and ringing ostinato.

Pi Doi is the instrument played only by men to accompany female singing in love-song singing activities. Sometimes, Pi Doi is solo performed by replaying the singing melodies but in some variations.

Pi Doi is the favourite instrument of Thai men as it is a voice speaking their loves, and a bridge to relationships between young ladies and gentlemen.

Courtesy  Vietnam Datacommunication Company (VDC) and Vietnamese Institute for Musicology (V.I.M)
Text and Photos courtesy by Vietnam Datacommunication Company (VDC)
and Vietnamese Institute for Musicology (V.I.M)