Lau (instrument)

The lau (Khmer: ឡោ) is a Cambodian flat-faced gong, measuring approximately 25 centimeters across, used in Bassac theater for scenes requiring a loud instrument, such as battle scenes.[1] It is also used to signal the entrance and exit of important characters.[1][2]

The Lau is similar in shape to the Kong chmol which is also used in the Bassac theater.[2] The instrument is large enough that it is hung on a frame, attached by a rope that goes through two holes in the instrument's edge.[1] It is played with a wooden mallet, at a more sedate rate than percussion such as the chhing or pann.[1] "While the Lau is struck once, the Chhing and Pann are struck twice."[1]


  1. Khean, Yun; Dorivan, Keo; Lina, Y; Lenna, Mao. Traditional Musical Instruments of Cambodia (PDF). Kingdom of Cambodia: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. p. 191.
  2. "មកស្គាល់ឧបករណ៍ភ្លេងបុរាណខ្មែរដែលមានតែឈ្មោះ តែបាត់រូបរាង [Knowing Khmer traditional music instruments, whose names only disappear]". 26 February 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018. [Article published under pseudonym ច្រឹក ស្រីអូន (Leopard Girl)]
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