Walter BrathFollow


Worship and Music - Ethnomusicology


Master of Arts (MA)


George McDow

Primary Subject Area

History, Asia, Australia and Oceania; Music; Religion, General; Anthropology, Cultural


Burma, Ethnomusicology, Instruments, Kachin, Music, Organology


Anthropology | Asian History | Christianity | Ethnomusicology | Liturgy and Worship | Missions and World Christianity | Music | Music Practice | Religion


This organology identifies and describes the Kachin's sound instruments, classifies them according to the Hornbostel-Sachs' system, and considers evidence of an indigenous classification scheme. Very little research exists to date on the music of the Kachin peoples of Northern Burma. This paper cites the only known indigenous organology and is the first English language study to extrapolate evidence into an emergent classification system. This qualitative study is based on ethnographic interviews, the minimal literature available on the topic, and participant observation drawn from fieldwork conducted in the Kachin State of Northern Burma (modern day Myanmar) during the months of May 2011 and November 2012. The participants in this study are music leaders in the Kachin Baptist Convention, a Christian association of churches whose membership includes approximately three quarters of the total Kachin population.