Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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Lao P.D.R.

Khab Tai Dam

Tai Dam Folk Song


Tai Dam girls, Xieng Khouang province.

This genre of traditional tribal singing is performed by a male-female pair. Topics include local legends and courting themes.

Reasons for selection

This genre of tribal Tai singing has not been well researched. It is not known how widespread this genre is.

Area where performed

Xieng Khouang, Northern Laos

Essential elements of the performing art


Detailed explanation

Khab Tai Dam is the genre most different in style from any other Lao style of Khab. Khab Tai Dam does not use the khaen preferring a smaller free reed pipe pih bab or a larger one pih mono. The singer declaims the poetry to somewhat indistinct steps of the ngao scale, such as d-f-g-a-c. The pih plays only five tones, four in that scale. The rhythmic relationship is so free that it is difficult to detect any correspondence between singer and instrument. Portamentos occur in both voice and instrument, especially at the ends of lines.

Publication and textual documentation

not yet available

Audio documentation

not yet available

Visual documentation

not yet available

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

National School of Music and Dance

Data provider

Mr. Douangchampy Vouthisouk
National School of Music and Dance
Address: Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.