Myanmar Musical Instrument
Myanmar harp is one of the musical instrument of Myanmar people. The
instrument has been introduced since A.D. 802 or in the Thiri Khatayar
Dynasty. The harp is called "Saung" in Myanmar, there was two types in
Myanmar harp: Byat Saung and Saung Gauk (bent saung). There almost is nobody
can play Byat saung these days.
In 10th century A.D., musicians used only 5 strings in Myanmar harp,
which later increased to 7 strings in 18th century. During King Bodaw Pharar
the art of playing harp was much promoted by the King and was improved to
using up to 13 springs by Mya Waddi Mingyi U Sa. Later it was changed to 14
strings and 15 strings by legendary U Thein. The instrument today has 16
strings as U Ba Than developed to a modern model. Myanmar harp's composition
is very interesting: In general harp size, it is 18 inches length at bottom
and 39 inches high. The hollow body is made of rosewood, padauk or mahogany,
the flat bar made of cutch wood, the strings are made of silk and it is
covered with the leather of a female deer.