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Monday, June 17, 2024

Preserving the legacy of Vietnamese folk music

By Ngoc Khuyen

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Experience the enchanting melodies of Vietnamese folk music at the “Tinh van dien ca” performance, dedicated to the preservation and celebration of this cultural treasure.

Led by seasoned artists, artisans, and enthusiastic young learners, each performance of “Tinh van dien ca” is a captivating blend of traditional musical instruments like drums, dan nhi (Vietnamese two-chord fiddle), and flute, accompanied by the melodious strains of hat xam (a type of Vietnamese folk music), chau van (Vietnamese form of ritual singing), and ca tru (Vietnamese ceremonial singing).

Audiences not only enjoy the music but also delve into Vietnamese culture, gaining insights into customs and traditions. In the latest performance themed “Mau” (Mother Goddess), stories of Vietnamese women’s destinies unfolded, celebrating their silent sacrifices, virtues, and kindness.

This monthly event unfolds at 188/16 Tran Ba Giao Street, Ward 5, Go Vap District, HCMC, offering free admission to all who seek to immerse themselves in the beauty of Vietnamese folk music and culture.

Artisans rehearse before a show
An artist wears makeup and costumes before a performance
A show begins with lullabies sung by artisan Cao Minh Hien, who is proficient in singing lullabies in the languages of five ethnic groups, namely Thai, Cao Lan, Mong, Tay, and Kinh
A narrator provides a background story and introduces various music types
An artist performs dan tinh (gourd lute)
A scene from cheo theater “Quan Am Thi Kinh” (Avalokitesvara Thi Kinh), performed by artist Bich Phuong, portrays the compassion and forgiveness of Thi Kinh, who spent three years nursing someone else’s child
Artist Manh Hung performs dan nhi (or dan co), a traditional Vietnamese two-chord fiddle commonly used in traditional music performances such as cheo (a traditional Vietnamese theater art form), hat xam, chau van, don ca tai tu (a genre of chamber music in the traditional music of southern Vietnam)…
A show attracts audiences of all ages

A traditional music instrument

Some of the traditional music instruments
Audiences enjoy a performance about the later life of Lord Trinh Sam, highlighting his downfall after disregarding the advice given by his mother and high-ranking mandarins
Lord Trinh Sam hugs his mother and regrets all the mistakes he has made
Artists perform chau van. Chau van, originating in the Red Delta in northern Vietnam, often accompanies hau dong (trance ceremony) of the Mother Goddess worship in Vietnam
Artist Anh Tuyet portrays Co Doi Thuong Ngan, one of the 12 saints in the Mother Goddess worship
An artist wears ao tu than (a four-piece dress), a traditional Vietnamese dress commonly worn in the northern part of Vietnam. The dress was used as daily clothing until the early 20th century
Audiences have a photo op with artists at the Tinh van dien ca show

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