"In south-East Asia, their sheer profusion and their endless variations render generalization perilous, while at the same time making a truly comprehensive account virtually impossible. The fact is an instrument which goes under a certain name in one place may be know by others only a few miles away, while elsewhere the same name may be applied to a different instrument altogether.
It cannot, of course, be denied that ancient ties with the two immense and older civilizations were fundamental to the shaping and evolution of the region. Ancient beliefs were not destroyed by the great religious movements - Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian - which were to spread throughout the region, but rather were adapted and absorbed. They were at the root of many dramatic dance forms, ceremonies of ploughing and harvesting, rites of passage, court rituals, and other social conventions which have all, in varying degrees, survived to the present day." , writes Eric Taylor in his book, Laos - Musical Instruments of South - East Asia.
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