The craft of making folk musical instruments in the Central Highlands


Folk music plays an important role in the spiritual life of ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands. Simulating the sounds of mountains and forests, the music here has the characteristics of primitive music, with rudimentary musical instruments made from copper, bamboo, leaves, wood, stone, beeswax and gourd. … It simulates the sounds and sights of nature as well as thoughts and feelings in community life…

In addition to Gongs forming the “Gong Cultural Space” recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Central Highlands ethnic minorities’s spiritual life is also linked together through many musical instruments, such as: lithophone, T’rung (a traditional bamboo xylophone), bamboo instruments like dinh nam (a wind instrument), dinh puot, tak-ta…

Artist Y Bhiong Nie (Ama H’loan)

Y Bhiong Nie is the most famous Central Highlands musical instrument artisan in Dak Lak province. Having held the role of Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Youth Union and working in the Propaganda Department of Dak Lak Provincial Party Committee, he understands the importance of preserving and developing local folklore.

With a deep understanding of the Ede ethnic culture, the Central Highlands culture, he himself has conducted extensive research, traveled all over the region to listen to stories and successfully crafted and restored many types of musical instruments for the spiritual life of the community.

Not only being good at crafting, artisan Y Bhiong Nie skillfully masters the structure as well as performed from traditional musical bamboo instruments to Ede gongs such as the five-pipe trumpet (6-pipe trumpet). He is also one of the rare artisans in Dak Lak who holds the secret of creating the most accurate and rich sound and rhythm for each musical bamboo instrument. He has the ability to assess sound and tune the gong in accordance with the standards of traditional Ede folk music .

In addition, the artist also participates in many gong training classes to teach the younger generation how to perform and how to tune the gong.