The Trong Com Featured

The trong com (rice drum) gets its name from the practice of placing a pinch of hot steamed rice in the middle of the drum skin to "tune" the instrument. The trong com onsists of a hollow cylinder or hemisphere with a membrane stretched tightly over one or both ends, played by beating with sticks.

The player, when standing, has the trong com slung over his stomach. When sitting he rests his instrument on his lap. He strikes the faces of the drum with his fingers with varied style.

The sound obtained from one face is five tones higher than the other. The sound of the trong com is a little dull, somewhat similar to the large-sized dan ho, and it is used to express sadness.

The trong com is one of the percussion instruments used to accompany tuong or cheo drama. Its use has also spread to cai luong (reformed opera) and other orchestras.

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