Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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Yodaya is one of the music genres in Myanmar's musical culture. It was initially tied to the Myanmar royal court in the past and has ever since infiltrated the Myanmar way of life up until the present day. This qualitative study was set out to: 1) investigate the historical development of Yodaya, and 2) examine the features and representation of Thai classical music in Yodaya. Data was gathered between August 2009 and March 2014 through multiple techniques: survey, interview, observation, field-notes and documentary analysis. Informants included five experts, eight practitioners and four related people in Yangon and Mandalay cities in Myanmar. Data was validated by means of a triangulation method based on defined objectives and was presented following analytical description. Findings revealed that the history of Yodaya can be traced far back to the Konbaung period, the era after which Ayutthaya was ruled by Myanmar. As a consequence of this, Thai royal families, philosophers, experts and servants were forced to migrate to Myanmar. One significant piece of evidence revealing the representation of Thai music in Myanmar music was derived from the title and lyric of the song "Chui Chai." It was also found that some Yodaya songs have lyrics in Myanmar but titles in Thai. These songs are Phayantin, Khaekmorn, Kamin, Tanao, Plengcha, Tobtuan, Cherdcharn, Ngungid, Kabi, and Mahouti. In terms of the musical features and representation of Thai music in Yodaya, two Yodaya songs (Weichayanta and Chaweitanya) were found to represent Thai music because their melodic scales (G A B D E and C D E G A) are similar to both Tarngnai and Tarngnork scales in classical Thai music. The melodic feature in the 4th movement of Chaweitanya is similar to the 1st movement of the Phayadern song in Thai music. Phayadern and Chaweitanya are based on G A B D E and C D E G A scales respectively and are accompanied by a percussion drum rhythm, called "Sa Khun Dou Yia." The structure of Yodaya was divided into three movements: prelude, interlude and finale. The prelude and finale movements contained free tempo while the interlude movement had a consistent and related tempo.

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