Hsaing Waing

The Hsaing Waing ( mya.: hsaing, droopy ' and waing Circle ') is a traditional orchestra in Burma. It is played at celebrations, ceremonies, and to the accompaniment of dances outdoors with a variety of different drums, gongs and other melody instruments.


The origin of the hsaing waing is unclear. In the 18th century, the orchestra was expanded and supplemented by game wise men from the neighboring country of Siam, when the Burmese king Hsinbyushin brought back from his conquest of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, many musicians from the local farm.


  • Pat waing (pat, drum ') or hsaing waing: The circular drum game is the main instrument and the namesake of the orchestra. It depends 21 double-skinned drums of different sizes according to pitch and size arranged in a round wooden frame. The drums are played with virtuosity with the fingers of the player. The player is at the same time orchestra leader and determines the beginning and end, as well as the velocity within the composition.
  • Kyi waing ( kyi, brass ' ): Between 18 and 21 arranged in a circle hump gongs of different pitch, are beaten by a gong player with hammers.
  • Maug zaing ( maug, Gong ' and zaing, hang ' ): Between 18 and 23 down tuned and softer sounding gongs, which are also struck with hammers. The two Gong games are mainly responsible for the melody.
  • Hne: In addition to playing a two oboes with a higher position of the melody line. When they developed through improvisations take up the drum motifs along with the drummers their own additional melody level.
  • Pat ma and sa khun: two large barrel drums.
  • Chauk lon bat ( Chauk, six ', lon, measure word ' and asked or pat, drum '): six established in series double skin drums.


In contrast to the mostly outdoor played loud music hsaing waing ensembles the saung gauk ( bow harp), which used Pattala (xylophone ), cymbals, piano and violin (introduced by British colonists ) in the quieter chamber music are. This accompanied the light entertainment theater Anyeint.

The mood of the hsaing waing orchestra is similar to the diatonic piphat ensembles in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The compositions differ, however, by sudden changes and shifts of rhythm and their own musical instruments, which do not occur there.

The hsaing waing orchestra plays on public occasions to the accompaniment of dances and religious ceremonies. At the time of the monarchy ( until 1885 ) the orchestra were classified according to their decoration. It was: The orchestra, which was the most valuable decorated, was the holiest. Thus were the kings and ministers orchestra, which were decorated with emeralds, rubies, gold and silver, while was played in the simple towns and villages with red paint and yellow paint painted orchestras.