Siamese Musical Instruments/Preface

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P r e f a c e .

The Royal Institute has been commanded by the King to select a book to be printed for distribution at the cremation of Lady Manopakorn, Lady-in-waiting to the Queen, who died while in attendance upon Their Majesties during the royal visit to French Indo-China last year; whose cremation is an official function by the gracious command of the King. It is evident to me, on whom has fallen the task of finding a suitable book, that attendance at the cremation will be large, for the deceased lady and her husband have been fortunate in the possession of a wide circle of friends, both Siamese and foreigners. The King's command that the cremation be an official function is widely appreciated as a token of His Majesty's recognition of the sterling character of the lady, and it will have the effect of increasing further the number of those attending the ceremony. The book selected for the occasion should, consequently, be one which is acceptable not only to Siamese readers, but also to those whose knowledge of the language of the country does not extend to the reading of books. It occurred to me in my search that perhaps my brochure on Siamese musical instruments, which was published about two years ago, would be suitable, for it imparts information on an interesting subject. After its publication in Siamese, the book was translated into French (Extrême-Asie, September 1928) and Dutch (Nederlandsch-Indië Oud & Nieuw, July 1929), but the text as printed in the first edition is somewhat incomplete, nor are the illustrations as good as they might be. If the book were revised and enlarged, its illustrations improved, and an English translation provided, a new edition might prove acceptable. This choice having been submitted to His Majesty, the present (second) edition of "Siamese Musical Instruments" is issued with the approval of the King.

The text of the book has been revised throughout and an English translation, the work of the staff of the Royal Institute, has been added. The illustrations are entirely new, and have been prepared with the co-operation of Chao Phaya Varabongs, Minister of the Royal Household, by whose order the artistes of the Royal Orchestra assembled before the camera, with Mr. E. Groote behind it. In the case of musical instruments which are not available elsewhere, exhibits of the National Museum have been used. The Royal Institute tenders its thanks to all who kindly gave their help.


The Royal Institute,
Wednesday, 11th. February, 1931.