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Klon-Put is a musical instrument of wind family, slapping branch of the Xe Dang ethnic group. It consists of many hornless bamboo sections, each section is a tone. The sections of the instrument are placed on a bamboo stand from low to high.
Klon-Put includes 11 sections: the first one (from the left to right) with the length of 2.40m, the second one of 2.30m, the third of 1.70 m, the fourth of 1.30m, the fifth of 2.20m, the sixth of 0.80m, the seventh of 0.60m, the eighth of 0.50m, the ninth of 0.40m, the tenth of 0.30m, the eleventh of 0.24m.
The order of sounds is arranged as follows: Do (section one) -Re (section 2) - Sol (section 3) - La (section 4) - Re1 (section 5) - Sol1 (section 6) - Do2 (section 7) -Re2 (section 8) - Sol2 (section 9) - Do3 (section 10) - Re3 (section 11).
According to "Musical instruments of Vietnams ethnic minorities" by Prof.-Dr. To Ngoc Thanh, in the old days, Klon-Put of the Xe Dang ethnic group had only 5 large hornless bamboo sections with the length of 110-120cm and the diameter of 5-8cm. He also said that if Klon-Put is made from hornless bamboo, its sound was cleaner and higher than those which is made from bamboo.
When performing it, girls bend down their body. They beat their bowed hands to each other to make the air in the section move to create sounds.
Klon-Put is a musical instrument for women only. According to the legend, in each hornless bamboo or bamboo section, the spirit of "Rice-Mother" exists. If Klon-Put is played on the planting time, the "Rice-Mother" will come and sponsor the rice storage. Therefore, if male plays it, the Rice-Mother will be afraid and go away.
Similar to Klon-Put, the Xe Dang people has Dinh-Put, and the Bahnar people has Dinh-Pol. But Klon-Put of the Xe Dang ethnic group is different from those of others since it can be played by many people at the same time. They play according to the subordinating part or an ostinato part while the melodious part runs distinctively like a kind of homophonic music.
On the bright moon nights and festival days, the sound of Klon-Put vibrates lively in all hamlets of the villages thanks to the talent of the girls of the Xe Dang ethnic group.
Text and Photos courtesy by Vietnam Datacommunication Company (VDC)
and Vietnamese Institute for Musicology (V.I.M)