I Will Send My Song: Kammu Vocal Genres in the Singing of Kam Raw


Håkan Lundström

Today, the Kammu are an upland people mainly found in Laos, Yunnan, Thailand, Burma and Vietnam. This people – who have retained their orally based culture through to the present day – provide an example of complex sung poetry that has seldom been studied in detail. In addition, it has long been recognized that the Kammu are a repository for much that has been lost or ignored in the literate cultures of their lowland neighbours. As such, the study of their culture (and not least their music) provides many insights into the pre-historic culture of other mainland Southeast Asian peoples. What this volume offers is an ethnomusicological presentation of oneperson’s vocal performance of rather highly varied sets of words in different manners of performance, and the use of these competences in communication with other singers. This orally transmitted form of singing is unique to the Kammu of northern Laos but is related to a much larger complex in Southeast Asia. It will thus be of interest to a wide group of musicologists.

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I Will Send My Song: Kammu Vocal Genres in the Singing of Kam Raw

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