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The Burmese Soung

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The harp (the Soung) shown in the illustration is a favourite Burmese instrument, and is chiefly used to accompany the voice: it is always played by young men. It also has thirteen strings, made of silk, and is tuned by the strings being pushed up or down on the handle. It would sound strange to our ears, as the Burmese scale is differently constructed from ours. Every learner of music knows, or ought to know, that our scale has the semi-tones between the third and fourth, and the seventh and eighth notes, which gives a smooth progression satisfactory to our ears; but the Burmese scale places the semi-tones between the second and third and the fifth and sixth, which is quite different and to us has not nearly such a pleasant effect. The Soung is held with the handle resting on the left arm of the performer, who touches the strings with his right hand.

Chatterbox, 1906
Available from www.gutenberg.org