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The jaw harp Karinding was originally an instrument that was closely linked to the Sundanese rice cultivation in the west of the Indonesian island of Java and was made from the midrib of the sugar palm (Arenga Pinnata). The Karinding was played in every family when harvesting, drying rice or as an expression of joy about the yields. Even for the protection of the rice paddies the Karinding was important, because insects were dispelled from the crops by the sound. With the changes in agriculture and society, the jaw harp almost disappeared in the last decades, but fortunately it has a revival today. Now, the Karinding can be found in classical Gamelan orchestras, in modern pop or hip hop bands, in jazz formations or even in Koran recitations with background music.
Our little Karinding was traditionally made from palm wood by an old Sundanese Karinding master. By gently tapping the flat end, the two narrow reeds vibrate and with a little practice, the typical percussive sound can be heard.
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