The complete body of Myanmar classical songs is usually referred to as,
the "Maha Gita," meaning great or royal song. The repertoire is also
sometimes referred to as "Thachin Gyi," or great songs. These were the
songs of the royal Myanmar courts and form the basis of Myanmar
classical music. The Maha Gita repertoire is pervasive in the
performance of Myanmar music. It forms the basis of shared tradition of
the chamber music ensemble, the Hsaing ensemble, as well as that of solo
instrument performances such as the piano. The Maha Gita also provides
much of the basis for music in the theatre, both the puppet theatre and
that which employs live actors.
Kyo Songs, Bwe Songs, Tachin Hkan
Kyo, Bwe and Tachin Hkan are thought to be the oldest parts of the repertoire and contain a great number of songs.
Patt Pyou Songs
Lei Dwei Than Kat
In addition to this body of court songs, there are a number of instrumental pieces in the form of opening music for the theatre which are called "Panama Ti'loun," or "first pieces". There are a number of instrumental types associated with the Royal Palace Watch, such as the "neyi," the first music played each morning in the royal palace and the "yegin," played as the watch musicians navigated the moat around the royal palace. A number of rhythmic and melodic types borrowed from folk repertoire, such as "byo," "si daw," and "dophat" also are included in the corpus of Myanmar traditional music, although not formally part of the Maha Gita.
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