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“A Crow Jumps on Rocks”: Indigenous Approaches to Composing and Performing Text in Lao Vocal Music

  • Adam Chapman


This article explores three fundamental aspects of text in the performance of Lao vocal music in the southern Lao province of Champasak:

  1. (1)the relationships between poetic structures and creativity;
  2. (2)extemporaneous composition of texts; and
  3. (3)repertory and its relationship to performance context.

I aim to provide an overall insight into the creativity and repertory of Lao khaplam texts with an emphasis upon indigenous concepts of textual structures, compositional methods, and thematic conventions and their associated terminology. Before exploring textual aspects it is necessary to provide the reader with some contextual information. Firstly, a general overview of Lao vocal music in Laos today is provided, locating this study within a broader tradition of Lao vocal music, and secondly, musicological information pertinent to the performance of Lao vocal music to remind the reader that the central topic of textual composition takes place within a musical framework.



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“A Crow Jumps on Rocks”: Indigenous Approaches to Composing and Performing Text in Lao Vocal Music

  • Adam Chapman


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