The Nang Hong Suite - Siamese Funeral Music
Although Thai classical music can be traced back to the Sukhothai period (1250-1350) and the longer ensuing Ayuthaya period (1350-1767) the golden age of surviving pieces is the last 200 years. The Thai people migrated from southern China in the thirteenth century, but absorbed many Indian influences from the Khmers, whom they conquered by the fifteenth century. They also embraced Buddhism, which today remains the religion of the vast majority of Thais. Thai music is a unique blend of Chinese, Indian, Burmese, Cambodian, Javanese and other influences. The prevalence of percussion-based orchestras, heterophonic layering of parts, equidistant and pentatonic tuning systems shows many affinities with the Gamelan music of Java and Bali, as with the music of Burma and Cambodia.