11.03 The Boat Lutes of Southeast Asia – A Video Presentation

The Boat Lutes of Southeast Asia – A Video Presentation 

In the course of the centuries, there has been a continuous exchange between the music traditions of Southeast Asia. One of these traditions are the so-called "boat lutes", usually slender, boat-shaped instruments with two strings that can be found in Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines, Sulawesi and Sumba island. Additionally, there are related zither instruments in Myanmar, Kampuchea and Thailand. All these instruments are connected through their Indian roots. However, there is not much known about the great variety of different shapes and designs as well as styles of boat lute music, each of them typical for the specific areas where the instruments are used. This lecture will present video samples of boat lute playing among the many indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia, trying to present the similarities and differences between these traditions.

Hans Brandeis studied ethnomusicology, anthropology and psychology at the Free University Berlin. In the course of 15 trips to the Philippines, since 1976, he has conducted intensive fieldwork on the islands of Mindanao and Palawan. He wrote his M. A. thesis on the music culture of the Higaonon in Agusan del Sur province. In 2015 and 2016, he conducted fieldwork on the island of Borneo. He has worked for the International Institute for Traditional Music, the Ethnological Museum Berlin and the Verlag Neue Musik, a music publishing house. He also authored many educational radio programs, most of which deal with traditional music in the Philippines. He is now working as a free-lancing ethno¬musicologist, musician and sound engineer, while continuing his research trips to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. His present research activities mainly focus on the boat lutes of Southeast Asia.