Musical Instruments

Update : February 29, 2020


The Burmese classify musical instruments as

  • Kyay
  • Kyo
  • Tha Yay
  • Lay
  • Let Khoke

Myanmar Saing Waing has Jazz as a distant cousin. They perform extemporaneously.

Myanmar Dobat is often performed in Thingyan and at Ah Hlu.

Philharmonic orchestras have various sections. They include

  • Wind
  • Brass
  • Strings

Pop Bands

During our younger days, most pop bands had

  • Lead guitar (e.g. John Lennon)
  • Rhythm guitar (e.g. George Harrison)
  • Bass guitar (e.g. Paul McCartney)
  • Drums (e.g. Ringo Starr)

Some musicians play multiple instruments. Examples :

Paul McCartney plays the Bass guitar and sometimes plays the piano.
George Harrison plays the Rhythm guitar and plays the sitar.
U Aunt Gyi usually plays the Accordion, but he sometimes also plays the piano and the guitar. At the Farmers’ Market, I have seen musicians playing two instruments (harmonica & guitar) at the same time.

Some bands play special guitars. They include

  • Double stringed guitar (with twelve strings)
  • Steel guitar
  • Hawaiian guitar

String Quartets

A String Quartet may consist of

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass

Visiting bands and musicians

During our younger days, several foreign bands and musicians visited Burma. They include :

  • Benny Goodman (saxophone) and his band
  • Duke Ellington and his band
  • 13th US Air Force band
  • US musicians (via the Cultural Exchange Program)


The Synthesizer can simulate many musical instruments.


MIDI stands for Musical Instruments Digital Interface, Composition and play back of musical instruments can be done with the aid of MIDI.

Many automobile workers lost their jobs when robotics (and the related fields) gradually displaced them. Those, who did not have alternate skills, were hit hard.

Touch typists and secretaries found that their skills have been marginalized by the word processors, voice-activated systems and similar advanced tools.

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