(2) phleng kar, the songs of the wedding ceremony; and (3) mohori, secular entertainment music, also originating in the royal courts, that is played by a string-based ensemble. Mohori usually accompanies a play of the same name and Khmer folk dances. It consists of roneat, khloy (duct flute), tro (two-stringed fiddle), krapoe (three-stringed floor zither), thon romonea (two-piece drum set), and chhing.
The word "phleng" is a literal translation of the English word 'music". The word "Khmer" is used interchangeably with the word "Cambodian" to mean people of Cambodia or Cambodian language. We can divide the Cambodian music into two main categories: modern/contemporary music and traditional music. "Phleng Khmer" refers to the Cambodian traditional music. Phleng Khmer can be divided into three sub-categories, each of which is suitable for a particular social and traditional event.
Phleng Pinpeat is performed at different events ranging from praying to Buddha to classical dances to funeral processions. The songs and lyrics vary according to the event type. The praying music is melodious and serves simply to enhance the praying services. The classical dance Pinpeat emphasizes the drum beat that coordinates and synchronizes the dancers' footsteps. The funeral type has a sad tone and lyrics that may cause one to cry.
Phleng Kar (Wedding music)
Phleng Kar is one of the major components in the wedding ceremony. In fact, it is an essential one. Unlike the Phleng Mohoree theme, which is always an offbeat and happy tune, the Phleng Kar is much sober, much more emotional. It is the time for the bride and the groom to reflect about their lives, from the day they were born, how they have been raised, the good deeds of their parents, and the journey ahead as a married person. The Phleng kar is played from the early morning of the wedding day to the conclusion of the ceremony (the thread-tying and the blessing) early next day.There are six musicians in the ensemble. They use two types of fiddles (a melodic fiddle that leads the whole ensemble and the bass fiddled), one dulcimer, one Takhe (two-string dulcimer), one drum and a singer.
Phleng Mohoree (Mohoree Ensemble)
Mohoree musicians use different type of fiddles, recorder (Khloy), dulcimer and banjo, Roneat and drums. The music is suitable for an entertainment in social and traditional events. It normally has an upbeat, happy-going style of music. Songs and lyrics of Mohoree music normally depict the beauty and admiration of nature, the confession of love or the teasing between man and woman.