sampho w/musicianSampho small barrel drum

The sampho leads the pinn peat ensemble by controlling the tempo and regulating the rhythmic cycles.


The drum-maker creates a barrel-shaped drum by hollowing out a single block of wood, stretching calfskin heads on each end, and tightening the heads with gut or sometimes strips of rattan. He makes one head larger than the other and applies to each head a circular-shaped tuning paste made of rice and ashes.

Master musician, Sum Tath (above)

A drummer selects from a combination of four basic strokes for the drum version of the rhythic cycle, an open stroke for each head and a closed one for each head. Each of the four sounds has a Cambodian name. My rendition of one rhythmic cycle uses three of the four sounds.

open stroke, small head closed stroke, small head open stroke, large head closed left drum stroke
Open stroke, small head (ting) Closed stroke, small head (tip) Open stroke, large head (theung) Closed stroke, large head (tup)

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