The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

sung lisu studies (best)

two sung lisu studies with different scales
and techniques, but with similar fingerings.
the instrument is northern Thai, similar to
shamisen but with three wire strings, each
the same guage - so that tension alone
determines the tuning. i have two consonant
strings, and one a fourth higher, resulting
in the possibility of a drone and two
strings fingered, or oddly, the consonant
strings fingered differently so that the
result is a strange chording - in this case
everything depends on the finger reach. the
sung lisu is a wonderful instrument to play
- there are no frets and the neck is long
and thin; see
for a picture. i found the instrument in
an antique flea market in Colorado, without
a bridge or pick, but otherwise in perfect

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