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Xaranai is the only definite musical instrument among a wide range of musical instruments of Cham people. Xaranai's bell is round and gradually gets bigger with a flaring lip. The bell is 10 - 11cm long, and made from elephant ivory, or buffalo horn or precious wood like rosewood or barian kingwood.
Body of Xaranai is a hollow ebony-wood tube of 20 - 21 cm long and with diameter getting larger at the end linked to the bell. There are 8 fingering holes on the body. Right at the bell, the first hole followed by 6 other holes is located with distances of 2cm from each other. The rest hole is regarded the lower hole that is located at the back of body near the reed stake and between the 6th and 7th holes. The worm-nest shaped reed stake is 6 cm long and made from silver or brass. The bigger part of the stake is driven into the body while its smaller part is a home to the reed that is made from corypha saribus leaf.
The sound range of Xaranai includes Do - Mi - Fa - Sol - La - Si. It is required that instrumentalist should not break off of his breath while playing Xaranai. To this end, the musician has to know how to apply technique of air driving, of which, the musician makes use of part of little air inside his palate in order to force it into the reed, and simultaneously breaths in by his nose and store up in his lung.
Xaranai takes an important position in traditional orchestras of Cham people because of its strong and sonorous sounds as well as its melody-playing function in ensemble performances.
Text and Photos courtesy by Vietnam Datacommunication Company (VDC)
and Vietnamese Institute for Musicology (V.I.M)