Cambodian Arts

These pages are dedicated to sharing information about Khmer traditional Arts.

Pin Peat: Pin Peat music is used firstly in the Royal Court, where some pieces are only played for Royal ceremonies and court dances. However Pin Peat music is also central to traditional Cambodian life, because it is used for classical ballet, shadow puppet theatre, official ceremonies, religious ceremonies and funerals. Click here to learn more.

Mahouri: Mahori music is an ensemble of string instruments which plays secular music. Originating in the beginning of the Khmer Angkor era (circa 900 ad) it existed exclusively in the Royal Court, it was said to be unknown to ordinary Cambodians until the mid 20th century, when King Norodom Sihanouk allowed Mahori music to be heard by all. Click here to learn more.

Yike: Yike is an ancient musical/theatrical form, possibly originating from the Malay and Islamic Chham minorities of Cambodia, as the music/singing is very similar to Chham and Malay styles. It is a mix of ancient Khmer and ancient Cham style and also linked to the Khmer Krom minority (near the Vietnam border). The Yike incorporates more simple dance movements than Khmer classical dance, using swinging movements of the hands and a more relaxed movement from the spine. The dancing is accompanied by Rebana drums, voice and the Tro. Click here to learn more.

Classical Dance: From archaeological digs in Cambodia, there is evidence that dance forms existed in pre-historic times. Later, around the 1st century, India strongly influenced a large part of the South-East Asian region including Cambodia.  There is also thought to be influence from Java, Indonesia. Carvings have been discovered of  both the Apsara dancer  and Hanuman (the Monkey King from the Indian Ramayana epic.) dating from the Cambodian Funan period (1st-6th century AD). Click here to learn more.


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