"Khene" Lao National Musical Instrument

Khene (Khaen) is part of Lao society and culture; it represents its musical, artistic and spiritual attractions. As the Lao national proverb says: "A person living under a stilted house, eat sticky rice, listen to any music related to Lam (Lum) or Morlam or play Khene is likely to be Lao or associated with the Lao people".

Khene is made from a special kind of bamboo. It looks slightly Andrean in appearance with its sets of bamboo and reed pipes of various lengths, which are strapped together, and then blow into by the player. It can be played solo as in traditional Lao music or in combination with other musical instruments to accompany modern songs.

The Khene can also be performed in a full "Khene Orchestra". But in the rural area, it is very popular; however, it is commonly used to accompany folk singers or drama actors.
Today the sound of Khene is not only heard in Laos or in Northeast Thailand (Isan) as its traditional base... it's also being heard around the globe.


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