Music festival to mark UNESCO induction of Chapei Dang Veng

todayNovember 30, 2023 6

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Chapei Dang Veng Foundation is celebrating the 7th anniversary of its induction into the UNESCO Cultural list of Intangible Heritage with a special music festival.

The Chapei Dang Veng Festival is a celebration of the organisation’s prosperity and is devoted to encouraging more people to support and participate in the unique musical tradition.

Chapei Dang Veng is a long-standing Khmer musical tradition closely associated with the daily life, customs and beliefs of Cambodian people.

The old musical form features the chapei, which is a string instrument resembling a medieval lute. It is a long-necked instrument with strings that are plucked.

The chapei comes in two versions, either with four-strings or two. The older four-string version has two widely spaced double courses of strings. The more modern version uses only two thick nylon strings.

The chapei is often played during cultural festivals and is accompanied by singing.

Apart from musical talent, the main skill required to be a successful chapei player includes wit along with the ability to improvise musically and tell interesting stories.

The founding member of the Chapei Dang Veng Foundation is Phin Savey, who is also helping to organise the festival event.

He said that to celebrate the 7th anniversary of Chapei Dang Veng Foundation, they are organising the festival to help to raise funds to support elderly Chapei Dang Veng players.

The festival is scheduled for December 3 (Sunday) at Angkeo Uddam Temple in Thmey village, Kandal Stung district of Kandal province.

He said that in the past many people showed interest to study how to play the instrument. But now its popularity seems to be declining.

Savey also called on people and philanthropists to share a little money to support the festival and the musical tradition.

“We are celebrating this anniversary to share our culture with the next generation. Its only purpose is to create love for the Chapei Dang Veng tradition,” he said.

Chapei Dang Veng player Sam Seun said that many students have stopped studying.

“I call on authorities to support Chapei Dang Veng musicians by hiring them to play at festivals which is the best way to offer them jobs and an income,” he said. “Otherwise they will give up.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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