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Lan Na Thai for Alto Saxophone and Pre-recorded Sounds


Sy Brandon

Year of composition



Difficult (Grades 7+)


9 minutes


Modern classical music


Solo instruments

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MP3 file


MP3 file

A free mp3 file of the pre-recorded sounds for this composition is available at Lan Na Thai was composed during 2008 at the request of Dr. Andy Wen for a performance at the 2009 World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. The composition is in three movements with each titled after a different period in Thailand history. The piece is loosely programmatic as it tries to capture the general mood of each era, rather than specific events. I. Sukhothai (The Dawn of Happiness) This movement reflects the ideal state, a land of plenty, and is peaceful. II. Ayutthaya This movement reflects a period of wealth that is characterized by wars with Burma. III. The Chakri Dynasty This movement reflects the more hectic pace of modern society where Thailand moves from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Folk music of Thailand is built on a seven-note scale of equal intervals. The fourth and seventh notes of this scale are often used only for ornamental purposes. In order to approximate this scale, a pentatonic scale is used as it is like a major scale with the fourth and seventh tones removed. The pre-recorded sounds approximate some of the instruments traditionally used in Thai folk music.

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