Culture, Music and Dance
bamboo flute, xylophones, folk dances, wind instruments, Hindu mythology
The classical music and dance of Laos was inspired by the court dances of India, Cambodia, and Thailand. Its themes draw from Hindu mythology, the Buddhist Jataka tales, and local legends. The royal entourage of Lao kings traditionally included musicians, and a typical orchestra improvised songs with sets of tuned gongs, xylophones, a bamboo flute, and other wind instruments.
Folk music and dance are favorite pastimes in rural Laos, and each ethnic group has its own folk dances, which frequently portray scenes drawn from daily life, nature, and love. Couples usually dance the slow and graceful lamvong, though young Lao prefer a faster beat. The most popular folk music instrument is the khaen, a large bamboo mouth organ.
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