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Sralai /srɔː laɪ/, a high-pitched wind instrument native to Cambodia, produces its unique sound through a quadruple reed crafted from palm leaf. Playing important roles in many Cambodian traditional orchestra in particular the Vong Pleng Pradal, This wind instrument distinguishes itself from the Western oboe with its “slightly conical” bore, a departure from the double reed and conical bore design. Sralai’s pitch requires players to master circular breathing for uninterrupted performances.

Man playing Sralai as part of the Vong Pleng Pradal at a Bayon TV boxing event – Photo provided by Sitho Nathan

Sralai assumes a prominent role as one of the essential instruments in traditional Cambodian music called Pleng Pradal at every Kun Khmer event. Accompanied by the rhythmic beats of the “Skor Yol” and the resonant tones of the stringed Chhing, the Sralai contributes to the rich cultural tapestry, enhancing the ritualistic atmosphere of the performance.