Cambodian roneat ek
The roneat ek is a xylophone used in the Khmer classical music of Cambodia. Made of wood or bamboo, it is built in the shape of a rectangular boat. It is a leading instrument in both the Pin Peat and Mahori musical genres, used to harmonize classical Khmer music ensembles as a whole. Traditionally, neither Pin Peat or Mahori have a system of notation and melodies must be played from memory.
Samnang Pich began playing the roneat ek at the age of 10, learning from his father, master artist Sambath Pich. Samnang has played in hundreds of public events and religious ceremonies, including opportunities to play with musicians from Cambodia’s Royal University of Fine Art.
In 2009, Samnang participated in ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program, which supported an artistic mentorship with his teacher and father, Sambath.