Rabam Desana Preaching: Its Melodic Values to the Telling of Desana Mahachati Lanna


  • Ong-art Inthaniwet Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Narongchai Pidokrajt Mahidol University, Thailand




Ethnomusicology, Jataka preaching, Lanna, Melody, Rabam Desana


Desana Mahachati is an annual Buddhist ceremony which involves monks recounting the story of Enlightenment of the Buddha (the Jataka) to convey dharma. Rabam Desana refers to the particular Lanna melodic and tonal voice style use the telling of this story. It is unique in the use of chest voice, falsetto and vibrato. These vocal techniques are found in six types of Rabam Desana: Manao long khong, Prao kwai bai, Nam tok tad, Mangpu chom duang, Nok khao hern and Chang kham tong. The value of Rabam Deasan is that its usage enhances. The story of the Enlightenment for both the listener and the teller using these techniques, with the moods of the characters and the story line being varied an emphasized by tonal and tempo changes. Nowadays, only a handful of Buddhist monks in Northern Thailand practice Rabam Desana in their religious activities.


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How to Cite

Inthaniwet, Ong-art, and Narongchai Pidokrajt. 2021. “Rabam Desana Preaching: Its Melodic Values to the Telling of Desana Mahachati Lanna”. Journal of Urban Culture Research 22 (June):164-80. https://doi.org/10.14456/jucr.2021.12.