Adoption of Phīn tuning on Classical Guitar

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree: Theses, 2020, Victoria University of Wellington / Te Herenga Waka


Traditional Thai music has received little attention in academic study. Additionally, the repertoire for classical guitar is not as wide as other Western classical instruments. Therefore, this thesis has two main objectives. The first is to establish a database on traditional Isan (north-eastern Thailand) music, sourced from Thai works of literature and personal interviews. The establishment of this database was necessary to enable a thorough exploration of Thai Isan music. This, subsequently, helps explain phīn (Thai mandolin) tuning. This phīn tuning can be adopted to classic guitar, which is an effective way to apply the characteristics of traditional instruments to a classical western instrument. The second objective is to expand the repertoire on the phīn tuned classical guitar by collaborating with three composers; one guitarist and two non-guitarists. This thesis also explores collaboration processes and the idea behind each collaborative piece. Although it is challenging for non-guitarist composers to compose for the guitar, collaboration with guitarists will foster non-guitarist composers to contribute to a guitar repertoire. The results of the project are four new guitar pieces on the phīn tuned classical guitar and new genres of classical guitar repertoire, which integrates Asian and Western classical music.

Adoption of Phīn tuning on Classical Guitar

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