Traditional Se Asian Bamboo Flutes: Dissertation


This thesis specifically contributes to significant research in this century; challenging commonly-held beliefs in the process, as it explores the multiple origins of three different styles of traditional bamboo flutes found in Southeast Asia. The data in this thesis draws on a diverse array of materials relating to flutes from a number of countries and regions, including China, India, Java and Bali of Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Borneo, Turkistan (Central Asia), Middle East, the Philippines, Australia, South Pacific and Oceania, Africa and Europe. Implementing this broad scope allows for a synthesis that enables the researcher and the reader to envision the eclectic cultural background informing the development of these instruments.

1.1. Design of the Study

The study investigates the bamboo flutes found in Southeast Asia, as well as their history and origin. The organization of the five chapters in the study includes:

Chapter I: Chapter I includes the design of the study, the study's research problem and three research questions, study objectives, the scope and limitations of the study, significance of the study of DNA, research methodology and philosophy of the studies from different related literature.

Chapter II: During Chapter II, the researcher presents information to address the first research question; presented in the introduction for the thesis: What evidence points to the origin of flutes in SEA? During Chapter II, the researcher relates the kinds of flute in SEA that have been passed on from one generation to the next and their physical structure which attributes scale, sound, expressions, melody, and rhythm. In Chapter II, the researcher also discusses the studies on ethnic groups of SEA and their flutes, and additionally notes studies on history of geology and aboriginals' migration map to provide information regarding the origin of these particular individuals and the kinds of flute they played. This chapter also includes relevant information regarding SEA.

Chapter III: In Chapter III, the researcher addresses the second research question of the study: What kinds of flutes and characteristics depict those flutes that may be found in SEA? During this chapter, the researcher also notes the physical comparisons of three kinds of flutes found in different cultures: 1) Side-blown flute; 2) vertically blown flute; 3) nose blown flute. In addition, this chapter includes information relating to the musical aspects and origins of these three flutes, as well as traces the history of the bamboo flute tradition vis-a-vis, the religions and their influence on the development of flutes; with their performance and practices.

Chapter IV: Chapter IV addresses research question 3: How may the tradition of flute playing in SEA be enmeshed with practices of a number of cultures? In this chapter, the researcher also examines certain aspects of SEA's socio-economical background which may have affected the development of flutes. In addition, the researcher presents information relating to the history of trading and invasions of outsiders on SEA which influenced the culture and life styles; consequently determining various functions of flutes.

Chapter V: During Chapter V, the study's conclusion chapter, the researcher summarizes findings of the research and poses recommendations for further and future studies on the topic of bamboo flutes.

The study focuses on the flutes from three main areas: Mainland SEA, Maritime SEA, and Pacific region of SEA. During the researcher's examination of the origins of three kinds of flutes, the researcher compares traditional flutes from other cultures such as Chinese, Indian, Central Asian, Australian, Hawaiian, Saudi Arabian, Native Indians and African. The cultural mapping of these flutes serves as guide in following the routes of the flutes from one location to the other.

Even though flutes included in this research have been the focus of earlier studies, only a few of these studies, however, currently exist. To establish relationships, the researcher compares the musical traditions of bamboo flutes of Southeast Asian countries to each other, as well as how these flutes vary from one country to another vis-a-vis society and ethnomusicology. In the study, the researcher...


During the research process, the antiquity of bamboo flutes, which encompasses vast areas of cultures and ethnic groups, posed particular problems for gathering data. As a result, this thesis covers the studies about SEA bamboo flutes and cultures. Specifically, the literature reviewed for this thesis addresses the following questions:
1. What evidence points to the origin of flutes in SEA?

2. What kinds of flutes and characteristics depict those flutes that may be found in SEA?

3. How may the tradition of flute playing in SEA be enmeshed with practices of a number of cultures?

1.3 Objectives

The objectives of the study include the following:

1. To recognize the kinds of bamboo flutes found in Southeast Asia;

2. To identify the characteristics of bamboo flutes in SEA to uncover the origins of the flutes;

3. To show the musicality and instrumentality of the bamboo flute in the of SEA;

4. To investigate the possible influences from different cultures through socio-economical interactions, invasions and religious movements;

5. To explore the possible origins related to the indigenous people's migration through centuries.

1.4 Scope and Limitations

1.4.1 Type of Flutes:

Those who crafted the flutes often constructed them out of the materials readily found in the immediate surroundings. The tradition of making flutes, however, may be transported from one country to another. The study includes details regarding a variety of aspects relating the following three types of flutes; including their construction: Side-blown, vertically blown and nose blown.

The side-blown flute has a blown hole on the side. The blowing hole for this flute may be located either on center or near the end. The vertical flute, also called end-blown flutes, has a hole on the end. Both ends of flutes are opened and one of end is manipulated to create different sound in vertical flutes or end-blown flutes. The ends may all be opened, closed or opened on one side. The musician may play the nose blown flute vertically or sideways, but he uses his nose instead of his mouth to produce the sound. The nose flute may be transverse or vertical flutes, nevertheless the individual must blow this type flute by nose.

The Southeast Asian countries included in this thesis include the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. The researcher considers bamboo flutes found in Central Asia, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Europe and South America, similarly structured or blown, as part of the influences that brought about the flute's existence in the SEA countries.

1.4.2 Historical Limitations

The researcher sets up chronological markers to compare the development of bamboo flutes in Southeast Asia. The first periodical section, set 50,000 years ago, denotes the time when the first kind of side blown flute might had been developed. The second consideration on time period reflects the movement of Austroasians to Southeast Asia and Oceanic nations. The researcher projects the next period as 1st Century BC when the massive trading occurred in Asia and Europe. The researcher also includes the 3rd Century, the era when musical development in Eastern Asia affected the musical development of Southeast Asian instruments in the study. The 14th Century European ventures to Southeast Asia, the researcher asserts, clearly showed the decline of interest in bamboo flutes. [Footnote or reference needed here]

1.4.3 Geology

The map of Ice-age, portrayed in Figures 1.1 illustrates the scope of study reveals possible geographical influence among cultural in neighboring countries. This map reflects the scientific research regarding how some of lands linked during the Ice-Age.

The Indonesian islands, as far east as Borneo and Bali, were connected to the Asian continent in a landmass identified as Sundaland. Palawan also comprised part of Sundaland, albeit, the remainder of the Philippine Islands fashioned one massive island which the Sibutu Passage and the Mindoro Srtait separated from the continent. As Australia and New Guinea connected, they formed Sahulland. Islands remained between Sundaland and Sahulland, Wallacea, nevertheless the number and width of water gaps between the two continents ranged significantly less.

Fig.1.1: 18,000 BCE, SEA Map (Ehlers and Gibbard).

The article, "Trade Routes between Europe and Asia during Antiquity," explains that the trade routes, according to similar to the Internet in contemporary times, served as the ancient world's communications highways. In addition to transporting goods and raw materials, individuals moving from one area to another to conduct businesses transported new inventions, artistic styles, languages, social customs, and religious beliefs. For instance, the Hellenistic styles the Romans popularized, as well as the sculptural styles of Gaul (modern-day France) and Gandhara (modern-day Pakistan and northern India) reflect…

Sources Used in Documents:

works cited:

Purple highlight means reference from his thesis, chapters 1-5

Blue highlight means reference from his raw research that was sent (17 files)

Yellow highlight means that writer could not find reference; one of the 17 files received

Gray highlight means writer found this source
"Beni Sokkong, nose flute maker." June 2007. Web. 04 January 2009. .
Animism Oct. 2008
Islam in the Philippines,2007, June <>

Cite this Document:

"Traditional Se Asian Bamboo Flutes " (2010, February 13) Retrieved May 28, 2024, from

"Traditional Se Asian Bamboo Flutes " 13 February 2010. Web.28 May. 2024. <>

"Traditional Se Asian Bamboo Flutes ", 13 February 2010, Accessed.28 May. 2024,

Related Documents
Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

That sums up her mother's life to her, and she does not want the same life for herself. Another interesting aspect of the novel is Esther's relationship with men, many of whom represent her missing father in one way or another. Her relationship with Constantin and most of the other men in the novel is platonic, and she trusts these men with certain aspects of her personality. She "sleeps" with

Plath Bell Jar the Life

Eventually, Esther sneaks into the cellar with a bottle of sleeping pills -- prescribed to her for the insomnia she was experiencing, without any other real attempts to understand or solve the underlying problems of her mental upset -- having left a note for her mother saying she was taking a long walk. Esther then swallows as many of the pills as she is able, and it appears to

How Esther is a Model of a Self-Sufficient Woman in The Bell Jar Introduction Sylvia Plath’s first person narrator in The Bell Jar comes across as a Holden Caulfield type—a disaffected, somewhat lost, but highly intelligent individual capable of critical thought and therefore exceedingly lonely in a world of conformists, who seem to show no desire to question anything or to know themselves. The narrator of Plath’s novel is Esther Greenwood—a young

"Doctor Gordon twiddled a silver pencil. "Your mother tells me you are upset." I curled in the cavernous leather chair." (Plath, 1999, p.128) "A few more shock treatments, Mrs. Greenwood," I heard Doctor Gordon say, "and I think you'll notice a wonderful improvement." (Plath, 1999, p.145) Insulin therapies merely make her miserable and gain weight. Only her own bonding with the female psychiatrists on staff, and overcoming her sexual

Mental Illness In the social environment, mental illness is a serious condition and with an advancement of technology and modern science, the physiological issue surrounding a mental illness is not well understood. The stigma that place on people suffering from mental illness is so much making people pretending that they are not suffering from the problems. Although, many people were not born with a mental problem, however, the societal burden can

Mystery of Capital in His

This reveals an important connection between capitalism and participatory governments, and a look at how De Soto views the relationship between democracy and capitalism further demonstrates how countries, and especially developing countries, can more effectively grow and protect capital. Naturally, De Soto views democracy and capitalism as two forces existing in a symbiotic relationship, but only when the political and economic systems are integrated at the same level. This means