Saturday, March 21, 2009


Thailand music has been influence by three major sources at three different times in its history.


Originally the music of both India and China had great impact on the development of Thailand music. Two major forms of music from the influential impact of India and China remain. Those are the luk thung and the mor lam.

The luk thung is the common folk's music-that of the Thai hill people. It talks about the hard life of the people and their poverty. The singing style is a bit excessive with a lot of vibrato. The tempo is fairly slow

The mor lam has extensive ties of Laos and has now cross-fertilized the luk thung style.
Mor lam has a flexible melody and was originally accompanied by a type of free reed mouth organ.

As these two styles have coalesced, the emphasis is increasingly on the artist and youth, vitality and movement are very important in the level of popularity.


It is not unreasonable to expect that with the huge western, particularly American presence in Thailand for many years that western music forms would take root and flourish in the country. As American servicemen visited the bars, nightclubs and restaurants they expected and enjoyed listening to the songs popular back home. As part of the service oriented activities, Thailand music was largely ignored and Western music was played sung and listened to. Western artists were copied in singing style, lyrics and even style of appearance and performance. At the same time, artist who were not so well known in the United States added their influence to the enjoyment of the Thailand music.

There was some cross fertilization amongst the US servicemen, but relatively little. As the Americans withdrew from the country to some extent, following the Vietnam years, Thailand music had the opportunity to pull into itself the influences from all the different cultures and come up with a style of its own.


Less well-known in the Western world are those groups of artists which tend to be from either Korea or Japan. These young groups are groomed for stardom in much the same way that gymnasts or ballet dancers in other countries are selected educated and trained. The group becomes the focus of their lives. Groups such as Glay from Japan and Super Junior out of Korea are prime examples. Each group has a unique appearance, singing style and performance mode. Each group has significantly influenced artists and music in Thailand.

Thailand music is truly a mixture of the best of many kinds of music.