During several field trips in Burma, especially to Kachin State in nothern Burma, Mandalay or Shan state, recordings were made, some incorporated in the Collection Bader at the ESRA and COMSAR archive.

A detailed analysis of the pat wain, a drum circle was made, in terms of its tuning and modes.

Kyaw Zay playing the pat wain solo at his house in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar.

Pat wain scale.

The pat wain is tuned with a paste made of rice and ashes. Adding the paste lowers the tone. Still also the overtone structure is altered by this process.

Pat wain tuning.


The modes of the pat wain alter according to the amount of paste added. Below are Finite-Difference simulations of the drum head eigenfunctions while adding more and more paste. At the left no paste is used and towards the right the paste ring is increased until the whole pat wain is covered with paste. The rows show similar modes with increasing frequencies from top to bottom.


Related publications

Bader, R.: Finite-Difference model of mode shape changes of the Myanmar pat wain drum circle using tuning paste. Proc. Mtgs. Acoust. 29, 035004 (2016); doi: 10.1121/2.0000450