World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000865303
Reproduction Date:

Title: Piphat  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Music of Thailand, Mahori, Khene, The Overture, Taphon
Collection: Articles Containing Video Clips, Classical and Art Music Traditions, Gong and Chime Music, Thai Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Video: Piphat played at Wat Khung Taphao, Uttaradit Province
Video 2
Sound sample

A piphat (Thai: ปี่พาทย์, pronounced ) is a kind of ensemble in the classical music of Thailand, which features wind and percussion instruments. It is considered the primary form of ensemble for the interpretation of the most sacred and "high-class" compositions of the Thai classical repertoire, including the Buddhist invocation entitled sathukan (Thai: สาธุการ) as well as the suites called phleng rueang. It is also used to accompany traditional Thai theatrical and dance forms including khon (Thai: โขน) (masked dance-drama), lakhon (classical dance), and shadow puppet theater.


  • Hard-mallet vs. soft-mallet 1
  • Types of piphat 2
    • Piphat khrueang ha 2.1
    • Piphat khrueang khu 2.2
    • Piphat khrueang yai 2.3
    • Piphat nang hong 2.4
    • Piphat duek dam ban 2.5
    • Piphat mon 2.6
      • Piphat mon khrueang ha 2.6.1
      • Piphat mon khrueang khu 2.6.2
      • Piphat mon khrueang yai 2.6.3
  • Similar ensembles 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
    • Listening 6.1

Hard-mallet vs. soft-mallet

The most common form of piphat is called piphat mai khaeng (ปี่พาทย์ไม้แข็ง). This ensemble uses an oboe called pi (after which the piphat ensemble is named), in combination with xylophones, gong circles, and other percussion instruments, with the xylophones and gong circles using hard mallets, creating a very bright, loud sound. A quieter variety of pipat ensemble, called piphat mai nuam (ปี่พาทย์ไม้นวม), uses a vertical flute called khlui phiang o in place of the pi, and soft mallets are used in place of hard mallets. Because the piphat mai nuam produces a relatively soft, mellow sound, the large glawng thad drums are not used. Also, the ensemble may include saw u, to enhance its soft sound.

Types of piphat

The smallest piphat, called piphat khrueang ha, is composed of six instruments: pi nai (oboe); ranat ek (xylofhone; khong wong yai (gong circle); taphon or other Thai drums; glong thad, a set of two large barrel drums beaten with sticks; and ching (small cymbals). Often other small percussion instruments such as krap or chap are used.

A slightly larger piphat ensemble is called piphat khrueang khu, and consists of eight musical instruments. The other two instruments are the ranat thum (xylophone), which produces a deeper sound than the ranat ek, and khong wong lek, a gong circle that is higher in pitch than the khong wong yai.

The largest form of piphat ensemble is the piphat khrueang yai, which consists of ten musical instruments. Another ones are ranat ek lek and ranat thum lek; these are almost the same as their ancestors, the ranat ek and ranat thum, but they have keys made from metal instead of wood.

Piphat khrueang ha

Wong piphat khrueang ha (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์เครื่องห้า, Thai pronunciation: ) is an ensemble consisting of:

  1. 1 pi nai - bass oboe
  2. 1 taphon - secondary beat
  3. 1 ching - main beat
  4. 1 khong wong yai - bass gongs hanged in nearly-fulled circular track
  5. 2 glong thad - Thai tympani
  6. 1 ranat ek - treble xylophone

Piphat khrueang khu

Wong piphat khrueang khu (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์เครื่องคู่, Thai pronunciation: ) is developed from piphat khrueang ha, by arranging instruments in pairs of treble-bass. It consists of:

  1. 1 pi nai - bass oboe
  2. 1 pi nok - treble oboe
  3. 1 taphon - secondary timekeeper
  4. 1 glong songna or 2 glong khaek
  5. 2 glong thad - Thai tympani
  6. 1 ching - main timekeeper
  7. 1 chap
  8. 1 khong wong yai - bass gongs hung in semicircular track
  9. 1 khong wong lek - treble version of gongs hung in semicircular track
  10. 1 khong mong
  11. 1 ranat ek - treble xylophone
  12. 1 ranat thum - bass xylophone

Piphat khrueang yai

Wong piphat khrueang yai (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์เครื่องใหญ่, Thai pronunciation: ) is arranged by adding ranat ek lek (ระนาดเอกเหล็ก; treble metallophone) and ranat thum lek (ระนาดทุ้มเหล็ก; bass metallophone) to the wong piphat khrueang khu.

Piphat nang hong

Wong piphat nang hong (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์นางหงส์, Thai pronunciation: ) is an ensemble used in funerals. It is arranged by replacing the pi nai and pi nok with a pi chawa. The name nang hong comes from name of its main music

Piphat duek dam ban

Wong piphat duek dam ban (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์ดึกดำบรรพ์, Thai pronunciation: , literally "ancient ensemble") was proposed by Prince Naris for using in Thai opera. It consists of:

  1. 1 ranat ek
  2. 1 taphon
  3. 1 ranat thum
  4. 1 ranat thum lek
  5. 1 khong wong yai
  6. 1 ching
  7. 1 taphon - "tympani" made by using two taphons arranged together.
  8. 1 saw u
  9. 1 khlui u - bass flute
  10. 1 khlui phiang aw - medium
  11. 1 wong khong chai - a set of 7 khong chai with different size hung on wooden bar.

Piphat mon

Piphat Mon exhibited at Cité de la Musique, Paris

The piphat mon is believed to derive from the Mon people, an ancient Mon-Khmer-speaking people of mainland Southeast Asia, and uses special instruments such as an upright gong circle called khong mon. Wong piphat mon (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์มอญ, Thai pronunciation: ) has three sizes:

Piphat mon khrueang ha

Wong piphat mon khrueang ha (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์มอญเครื่องห้า, Thai pronunciation: ) consists of:

  1. 1 ranat ek
  2. 1 pi mon - bass oboe with horn-shaped end.
  3. 1 khong mon wong yai - a set of bass gongs set in vertical frame (unlike khong wong yai, which gongs are set in horizontal semicircular frame).
  4. 1 poengmang khok (เปิงมางคอก) or khok poeng (คอกเปิง) - Mon drums set in cage-shaped frame.
  5. ching, chap and khong mong

Piphat mon khrueang khu

Wong piphat mon khrueang khu (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์มอญเครื่องคู่, Thai pronunciation: ) is arranged by adding ranat thum and khong mon wong lek to the piphat mon khrueang ha.

Piphat mon khrueang yai

Wong piphat mon khrueang yai (Thai: วงปี่พาทย์มอญเครื่องใหญ่, Thai pronunciation: ) is arranged by adding ranat ek lek and ranat thum lek to the piphat mon khrueang khu.

The piphat mon ensemble is usually used in funerals, as it generally plays slow pieces. However, it can also be used for other events.

The piphat ensemble can be mixed with the khrueang sai ensemble to create a new ensemble called khrueang sai prasom piphat (เครื่องสายประสมปี่พาทย์ or เครื่องสายผสมปี่พาทย์).

Similar ensembles

The Cambodian equivalent of the piphat is called pinpeat.

See also


  • Piphat ensemble (Thai)
  • Piphat nang hong (Thai)
  • Piphat deuk dam ban (Thai)
  • Further information about piphat ensemble (Thai)

External links


  • Pi Phat Ensemble page from SEAsite
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.