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WHILE LISTENING to the unique, soothing music of northern Thailand at a Khantoke Dinner performance, you will become familiar with the traditional form of music that perfectly matches the gentle nature of northern Thailand.

In order to fully appreciate this music it is important to be a bit familiar with the various instruments used to convey this very special feeling. It is also helpful to know something about the background of both the instruments and the way in which they're blended to produce such peculiarly northern resonance.

The beauty and tragedy of traditional Lanna music is that it was committed to memory, not to paper. Generation after generation, the teachers would pass on the musical legacy to their students.

Most of these musical instruments came originally from China, a culture whose influence on the Lanna Kingdom was great due to migrations of peoples from Yunnan Province to northern Thailand. Chinese legends, language and beliefs can be detected as an undercurrent in the rhythm of Lanna music, and it is also important to consider Thai history, especially at the time of a large influx of people from China to populate the Lanna Kingdom (12th and 13th centuries).

Using this page as reference, try to pinpoint the combinations of soft string, wind and percussion instruments of the Lanna Kingdom and the way in which they're blended to produce such peculiarly northern resonance. If you haven't included a Khantoke Dinner performance in your list of places to see, select a recommendation on Restaurant Snippets pages such as Khum Khantoke, Tel. 05.-304121-2 or Old Chiangmai Cultural Center Tel. 053-274093, 274540.

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