The pi lao luong is a typical end-bown free reed pipe, much like the pi joom. It is played by the Tai people and has a typical small brass reed set near the end of the tube, in this case covered with a paint-like coating to guard against corrosion:
What makes this instrument different from other free reed pipes is the presence of an extra hole in the bamboo, covered with a membrane of bamboo pith, or spider's egg casing. A similar feature is found on the Chinese dizi flute, to add a kazoo-like distortion to the tone. Here is an audio clip that starts with the vibration of the membrane being stopped by a finger, then uncovered to allow it to function:
Vietnamese Institute for Musicology has some outstanding pages on the music and musical instruments of the various minority groups of Vietnam.
A Brief History of Mouth Blown Free Reed Instruments
What Is A Free Reed?
Origins Of The Free Reed
Eastern Free Reed Instruments
A Selective Discography Of Asian Free Reed Instruments
Western Free Reed Instruments
Return to Main Index