Khen Mong

The khen is a musical instrument used by the Mong ethnic minority, who call it the kenh, while the Viet gave it the name Mong Khen (previously Meo Khen). The E De ethnic minority in the Central Highlands use a similar instrument called Ding Nam.



 

 
 
The kenh is a wind instrument with an ancient history (about 2,500-3,000 years). The present-day kenh is a polyphonic instrument in the shape of a set of bamboo pipes of varying sizes that are arranged in two rows.

Each pipe is fitted with a reed made of a thin strip of copper. The section of the pipes with the reed lies inside the wooden air-chamber. The part of the pipe lying outside it shows a finger-hole. The pipe into which the player blows lies at right angles with the pipes with finger holes. The sound of the khen is not very clear but quite strong, nonetheless; the deepest notes are rather dull.

The Mong play the khen on various occasions, including funerals where it is accompanied by drums. When the khen is played by one person the soloist accompanies the music with dancing in which much vigorous knee-bending, body-turning, kicking, etc., is performed.
 

Source: VNAT