I am looking for music similar to the soundtrack to the film Tigerland, specifically in the forest march just before the final confrontation scene between Wilson and Bozz (I can't find a clip of that specific scene but the same instrument and tune appears again as the "End Credits Theme," below, but merged into an orchestra). What genre, period, place and instrument is this, what musical tradition is this song based on, and where can I find more solos like it?

It sounds like a Vietnamese or Chinese string instrument. A remixed version can be heard in Nathan Larson's Tigerland theme (Youtube) from his Filmmusik collection. It does not appear to be listed by IMDB.

In the case that this song predates the soundtrack, and wasn't created just for the movie, I would like to locate and identify the specific track, its composer, and its performer.

  • 2
    Since it isn't credited separately, I would expect this is "Tigerland: End Credits Theme" by the soundtrack's composer, Nathan Larson, as suggested by your links. It's clearly inspired by traditional music, but I would imagine it was either written or adapted for the movie, rather than being an independent song. Apr 22, 2021 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


I've taken a look at Tigerland's end credits and this piece of music doesn't seem to be listed (hence its absence on IMDB as well). It may indeed be a traditional song but I cannot tell you the name.

I believe the instrument we hear is one of the Huqin family, one of the most famous in the western culture being the erhu. They are traditional Chinese two-string instruments played with a bow. See this video for a presentation of the erhu, the gaohu and the zhonghu.

where can I find more music like it?

You can often hear it in movies when the story is taking place in the pre-XXth century China, like Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon, Hero, House of Flying Daggers (the video below), etc.

You can also search your favorite online music site with the names listed in this section.


Given that the film this comes from is set in an American training camp for the Vietnamese war, I'm guessing the theme is most likely inspired by traditional Vietnamese music, with some American additions.

The instrument sounds like a monochord, an instrument with a single string, leading to smooth pitch changes (somewhat similar to a slide guitar or a theremin). There are versions all over Asia, but the most popular Vietnamese version is called the Dan Bau.

Here's an example of a song played on the Dan Bau, it has some clear similarities to the Tigerland theme.

  • 2
    I do agree that what we hear is a bowed monochord instrument but I'm pretty sure this is not a dan bau as the latter is plucked and has a smoother sound with more complex modulations (pitch variations due to the player acting on the rod on the left -- see youtu.be/K3HUT7KGcVo).
    – xhienne
    Apr 25, 2021 at 19:20
  • You're probably right, I'm definitely no expert. I've upvoted your answer. Apr 26, 2021 at 13:07
  • 1
    I'm no expert either. Your answer also describes an uncommon instrument (in the western culture) that you can often hear in movie soundtracks. That's why I consider it helpful (and upvoted it too), so even if I'm proved right, please do not delete it.
    – xhienne
    Apr 26, 2021 at 14:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.