Catégorie : TÂN NHẠC VIỆT NAM

Thái Thanh Hát Đi Chơi Chùa Hương-Thơ Nguyễn Nhược Pháp, Nhạc Trần Văn Khê. Ghi Âm Trước Năm 1975

Thái Thanh Hát Đi Chơi Chùa Hương-Thơ Nguyễn Nhược Pháp, Nhạc Trần Văn Khê. Ghi Âm Trước Năm 1975

1,532 views•Jan 25, 2020 39 1 Share Savevanchus 20.4K subscribers Thái Thanh Hát Đi Chơi Chùa Hương-Thơ của Nguyễn Nhược Pháp, Trần Văn Khê phổ nhạc. Bản Ghi Âm Trước Năm 1975 .

PBN 9 | Trần Văn Trạch – Xổ Số Kiến Thiết

PBN 9 | Trần Văn Trạch – Xổ Số Kiến Thiết

55,767 views•Apr 12, 2019 508 30 Share SaveThuy Nga 3.4M subscribers Kính thưa quý khán thính giả gần xa, hẳn trong quý vị không ai là không biết ca nhạc sĩ Trần Văn Trạch mà trước 1975 giới mộ điệu mến tặng cho ông với biệt danh quái kiệt, Ông là một trong những ca nhạc sĩ xuất thân trong một gia đình âm nhạc đặc biệt là âm nhạc dân tộc với người anh Cả là giáo sư Trần Văn Khê và em gái là bà Trần Ngọc Sương, ông xuất hiện trong làng tân nhạc từ rất sớm và là người tiên phong sáng tác các bài hát hài hước cũng như trình diễn các bài nhạc chính thống , ngoài ra ông cũng là một tài tử điện ảnh, và coi như là người tổ chức hầu hết các đại nhạc hội từ trước 1975 nên rất nhiều ca nghệ sĩ biết đến ông. Năm 2019 kỷ niệm 25 năm ngày mất của ông (12/4/1994) Trung Tâm Thúy Nga có một vinh dự là được cộng tác cùng ông trong Paris By Night số 9. Trung Tâm Thúy Nga xin tri ân những đóng góp lớn lao của ông nói chung cho nền văn nghệ rực rỡ của miền Nam ngày xưa và kính mời quý vị tưởng nhớ về người ca nhạc sĩ khả kính này. #thuynga#tranvantrach#xosokienthiet ©1989 published by Thuy Nga under license **Các video trên Thuy Nga Youtube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/thuynga) đã được đăng ký bản quyền với YouTube. Vui lòng không sao chép, re-upload dưới mọi hình thức. **Mọi hành vi sao chép, re-upload có thể dẫn đến việc tài khoản của bạn bị khóa vĩnh viễn. == FOLLOW THUY NGA PARIS BY NIGHT: ☞ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThuyNgaPBN/ ☞ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/thuynga/ ☞ Website: http://www.thuyngashop.com

Covid 19: Chanson vietnamienne sur le Coronavirus

Covid 19: Chanson vietnamienne sur le Coronavirus

Asiatica Travel Français 292 abonnés Des artistes vietnamiens ont composé une chanson sur le virus corona pour encourager les gens à être alertes et à prévenir efficacement les maladies. Cette chanson a rapidement attiré l’attention de HBO et est apparue dans une émission de la chaîne. Traduit en français par Asiatica Travel Plus d’infos sur le Covid 19: 1. https://www.asiatica-travel.fr/blog/l… 2. https://www.asiatica-travel.fr/blog/c… Visitez-nous: Website: asiatica-travel.fr Email: info.fr@asiatica.com Source video: https://youtu.be/1vjMly2oX0Q

C’est Toi / Cho Em Quên Tuổi Ngọc (nhạc & lời : Lam Phương) – Bạch Yến & Trần Thu Hà . Thực hiện hình ảnh: Nicolas Phạm

Cho Em Quên Tuổi Ngọc – Bạch Yến & Trần Thu Hà. Thực hiện hình ảnh: Nicolas Phạm

98 vues•28 févr. 2020 2 0 Partager EnregistrerNicolas PhamDoan 27,1 k abonnés Photo : Nicolas Pham

Cho em xin một lần cuối ăn năn quê hương tội tình

Em xin được khóc cô đơn ôi thân phận mình

Thế gian còn ai, em xin từ giã thơ ngây xuôi theo dòng đời

Hơi men buồn, một giấc ngủ say, thêm cho đầy giấc mơ mình chua cay

Có nhớ phút giây lầm lỡ uống cho thật say uống quên ngày mai, thế gian đổi thay, quanh ta có ai, đời còn chi trong tay

Mai đây khi hoa tàn úa xinh sắc phong ba xa phôi em xin nằm xuống mang theo con tim ngậm ngùi

Thế gian còn ai đưa em vào cõi thiên thu yêu thương đời đời

Giấc mơ nhỏ nhoi đưa em vào cõi thiên thu yêu thương đời đời

Trần Văn Ngô : NHẠC VIỆT PHỔ THÔNG THEO ĐIỆU

Trần Văn Ngô

Yesterday at 4:54 PM ·

NHẠC VIỆT PHỔ THÔNG THEO ĐIỆU
Giúp bạn tìm bài khi cần tới khẩn cấp
BOLERO
Ai nhớ chăng ai Hoàng Thi Thơ
Anh về với em Trần Thiện Thanh
Biệt kinh kỳ Hoài Linh
Bỏ quên con tim Đức Huy
Cánh thiệp đầu xuân Minh Kỳ
Chiều hành quân Lam Phương
Chiều làng em Trúc Phương
Chuyến đò vĩ tuyến Lam Phương
Con đường xưa em đi Châu Kỳ
Dựng một mùa hoa Hoài An Phó Quốc Thăng
Đường xưa lối cũ Hoàng Thi Thơ
Hai vì sao lạc Anh Việt Thu
Hoa trinh nữ Trần Thiện Thanh
Không bao giờ ngăn cách Trần Thiện Thanh
Loài hoa không vỡ Phạm Mạnh Cương
Mùa thu lá bay Nhạc Hoa
Nắng đẹp miền nam Lam Phương
Nắng lên xóm nghèo Phạm Thế Mỹ
Ngày ấy quen nhau Lê Dinh
Những bước chân âm thầm Y Vân
Những đồi hoa sim Dzũng Chinh
Nửa đêm ngoài phố Trúc Phương
Phố buồn Phạm Duy
Quán nửa khuya Tuấn Khanh
Tàn đêm năm cũ Trúc Phương
Thôn trăng Mạnh Bích
Tình anh lính chiến Lam Phương
Tình lúa duyên trăng Hoài An
Tình thắm duyên quê Trúc Phương
Trăng rụng xuống cầu Hoàng Thi Thơ
Xóm đêm Phạm Đình Chương

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RUMBA
Anh còn cây đàn Canh Thân
Gió mùa xuân tới Hoàng Trọng
Lửa rừng đêm Nguyễn Hữu Ba
Mơ hoa Hoàng Giác
Nắng chiều Lê Trọng Nguyễn
Nhắn mây Xuân Tiên
Tiếng còi trong sương đêm Lê Trực
Tiếng sáo chiều quê Thu Hồ
Trăng sơn cước Văn Phụng Văn Khôi

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SLOW ROCK
Ai đưa em về Nguyễn Ánh 9
Ai nói với em Minh Kỳ
Bản tình ca cho em Ngô Thụy Miên
Bản tình cuối Ngô Thuy Miên
Bao giờ biết tương tư Phạm Duy
Bên kia sông Nguyễn Đức Quang
Bến xuân xanh Dương Thiệu Tước
Biển nhớ Trịnh Công Sơn
Cát bụi Trịnh Công Sơn
Chiếc lá cuốu cùng Tuấn Khanh
Chiều mưa biên giới Nguyễn Văn Đông
Chiều nay không có em Ngô Thụy Miên
Cho quên thú đau thương Nam Lộc
Chờ người Lam Phương
Cuộc tình đã mất Xuân Vinh
Dấu tình sầu Ngô Thụy Miên
Diễm xưa Trịnh Công Sơn
Duyên kiếp Lam Phương
Dư âm Nguyễn Văn Tý
Để quên con tim Đức Huy
Đèn khuya Lam Phương
Đêm đông Nguyễn Văn Thương
Đường xa ướt mưa Đức Huy
Em đi rồi Lam Phương
Em ơi Hà nội phố Phú Quang
Giáng Ngọc NgôThụy Miên
Hà nội vắng những cơn mưa Trương Qúy Hải
Hạ trắng Trịnh Công Sơn
Hoài Thu Văn Tri
Lâu đài tình ái Trần Thiện Thanh
Lệ đá Trần Trịnh
Lời cuối cho em Nguyên Vũ
Mãi mãi bên em Từ Công Phụng
Mùa thu chết Phạm Duy
Mùa thu cho em Ngô Thụy Miên
Mùa thu lá bay Lời Việt Nam Lộc
Mùa thu trong mưa Trường Sa
Mưa chiều kỷ niệm Duy Yên
Mười năm tình cũ Trần Quảng Nam
Mười năm yêu em Trầm Tử Thiêng
Người ở lại Charlie Trần Thiện Thanh
Nhìn những mùa thu đi Trịnh Công Sơn
Niệm khúc cuối Ngô Thụy Miên
Nỗi lòng người đi Anh Bằng
Nửa hồn thương đau Phạm Đình Chương
Qùynh Hương TCS
Riêng một góc trời Ngô Thụy Miên
Sài gòn niềm nhớ không tên Nguyễn Đình Toàn
Tháng sáu trời mưa Hoàng Thanh Tâm
Thương hoài ngàn năm Phạm Đình Chương
Tình nhớ Trịnh Công Sơn
Tôi đi giữa hoàng hôn Văn Phụng
Tôi đưa em sang sông Y Vũ
Trăm nhớ ngàn thương Lam Phương
Trở về thôn cũ Nhị Hà
Tuổi đá buồn Trịnh Công Sơn
Tuổi mười ba Ngô Thụy Miên
Về đây nghe em Trần Quang Lộc
Xin còn gọi tên nhau Trường Sa
Xóm đêm Phạm Đình Chương

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TANGO
TH Tango Habanera
Ai đi ngoài sương gió Nguyễn Hữu Thiết
Bài tango cho em Lam Phương
Bài tango cho riêng em Hoàng Nguyên
Bên cầu biên giới Phạm Duy
Bóng chiều tà Nhật Bằng
Bóng chiều xưa Dương Thiệu Tước
Cánh buồm xa xưa La Paloma
Chiều Dương Thiệu Tước
Con thuyền không bến Đặng Thế Phong
Cô Hàng Hoa Thẩm Oánh
Được tin em lấy chồng Châu Kỳ
Đường về Hoàng Trọng
Giáng Ngọc Ngô Thụy Miên
Hai phương trời cách biệt Hoàng Trọng
Hát để tặng anh Minh Kỳ
Kiếp Hoa Dương Thiệu Tước TH
Kiếp nghèo Lam Phương
Lá rụng bên song Hoàng Nguyên
Lạnh Lùng Đinh Việt Lang TH
Mắt buồn Phạm Đinh Chương
Mộng ban đầu Hoàng Trọng
Mộng chiều xuân Ngọc Bích
Một chiều thu Nhật bằng
Mùa đông của anh Trần Thiện Thanh
Mưa rơi Ưng Lang
Nếu đừng dang dở Hoài Linh
Nhạc sĩ trong sương chiều Châu Kỳ
Nói với mùa thu Thanh Trang
Phố buồn Phạm Duy
Phút chia ly Hoàng Trọng Nguyễn Văn Đông
Sắc hoa màu nhớ
Sơn nữ ca Trần Hoàn
Thu ca Phạm Mạnh Cương
Tiếc thu Hoàng Dương
Tiếng đàn tôi Phạm Duy
Tình cho không L Amour cest pour rien
Tình quê hương Đan Thọ
Tôi nhớ tên anh Hoàng Thi Thơ
Trở về Huế Văn Phụng
Vũ nữ thân gầy La Cumparsita

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TWIST
Bánh xe lãng tử Trọng Khương
Đêm đô thị Y Vân
Đừng quên anh là lính Trường Hải
Kim Y vũ
Lính đa tình Y Vân
Nếu có yêu tôi Trần Duy Đức
Người lính chung tình Khánh Băng
Sáu mươi năm cuộc đời Y Vân
Sầu đông Khánh Băng
Tình yêu thủy thủ Y Vân
Túp lều lý tưởng Hoàng Thi Thơ

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VALSE
Cây đàn bỏ quên Phạm Duy
Chiều tím Đan Thọ
Dòng An Giang Anh Việt Thu
Dòng sông xanh J. Strauss
Đêm thu Đặng Thế Phong
Đường lên sơn cước Lê Bình
Đừng xa nhau Phạm Duy
Gái xuân Từ Vũ
Giọt mưa trên lá Phạm Duy
Hoa rụng ven sông Phạm Duy
Khúc hát thanh xuân J.Strauss
Ly rượu mừng Phạm Đình Chương
Muà thu Paris Phạm Duy
Ngàn thu áo tím Hoàng Trọng
Ngày dài trên quê hương Trịnh Công Sơn
Ngày đó chúng mình Phạm Duy
Ngày xưa Hoàng thị Phạm Duy
Nhớ bến Đà Giang Văn Phụng
Nụ cười sơn cước Tô Hải
Paris có gì lạ không em Ngô Thụy Miên
Paris, Paris Văn Tấn Phước
Quê em miền trung du Nguyễn Đức Toàn
Thanh bình ca Nguyễn Hiền
Thoi tơ Đức Quỳnh
Thuyền mơ Dương Thiệu Tước
Thuyền mơ Santa Lucia
Thương về xứ Huế Minh Kỳ
Tình xuân Somewhere my love
Trường làng tôi Phạm Trọng Cầu
Ướt mi TCS
Xuân và tuổi trẻ La Hối

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PASODOBLE
BÁNH XE LÃNG TỬ Trọng Khương
CHIỀU TRONG RỪNG THẲM Anh Việt
DẤN BƯỚC THĂNG TRẦM Lam Minh
DỪNG BƯỚC GIANG HỒ Hoàng Trọng
DỰNG MỘT MÙA HOA Hoài An Phó Quốc Thăng
ĐOÀN LỮ NHẠC Đỗ Nhuận
ĐOÀN NGƯỜI LỮ THỨ Lam Phương
GHÉ BẾN SÀI GÒN Văn Phụng
GIÁNG NGỌC Ngô Thụy Miên
GIẤC MỘNG VIỄN DU Văn Phụng
MƠ KHÚC TƯƠNG PHÙNG Lam Minh
NGÀY VỀ QUÊ CŨ Khánh Băng
NGỰA PHI ĐƯỜNG XA Lê Yên Phạm Đình Chương
Ô MÊ LY Văn Phụng
VÓ CÂU MUÔN DẶM Văn Phụng Văn Khôi

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CHA CHA CHA
BỨC HỌA ĐỒNG QUÊ Văn Phụng
BỨC TÂM THƯ Lam Phương
EM ĐI CHÙA HƯƠNG Trung Đức Ng Nh Pháp
GIÓ MUÀ XUÂN TỚI Hoàng Trọng
KHÚC HÁT ÂN TÌNH Xuân Tiên
KHÚC NHẠC DƯỚI TRĂNG Dương Thiệu Tước
MẤY NHỊP CẦU TRE Hoàng Thi Thơ
NẮNG LÊN XÓM NGHÈO Phạm Thế Mỹ
NHỮNG BƯỚC CHÂN ÂM THẦM Y Vân
QUỲNH HƯƠNG Trịnh Công Sơn
SÁNG RỪNG Phạm Đình Chương
SẦU ĐÔNG Khánh Băng
TÀ ÁO CƯỚI Hoàng Thi Thơ
TÌNH CÓ NHƯ KHÔNG Trần Thiện Thanh
TÔI MUỐN Lê Hựu Hà
XÓM ĐÊM Pham Đình Chương

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BOSTON
Anh còn nợ em Anh Bằng
Ánh đèn màu Xuân Vũ
Ảo ảnh Y vân
Bây giờ tháng mấy Bossa Nova Từ Công Phụng
Bao giờ biết tương tư Phạm Duy
Buồn ơi chào mi Nguyễn Ánh 9
Cây đàn bỏ quên Phạm Duy
Cho người tình lỡ Hoàng Nguyên
Còn chút gì để nhớ Phạm Duy
Duyên thề Thanh Trang
Giọt nước mắt ngà Ngô Thụy Miên
Gọi người yêu dấu Vũ Đức Nghiêm
Hạ trắng TCS
Hoài cảm Cung Tiến
Khi người yêu tôi khóc Trần Thiện Thanh
Khúc thụy du Xuân Phú
Mắt Biếc NTM
Ngậm ngùi Phạm Duy
Ngăn cách Y Vân
Người ở lại Charlie Trần Thiện Thanh
Niệm Khúc Cuối NTM
Nối vòng tay lớn TCS
Riêng một góc trời Tuấn Ngọc
Ru em từng ngón xuân nồng TCS
Ru ta ngậm ngùi TCS
Tình khúc tháng sáu NTM
Tình nhớ TCS
Tôi ru em ngủ TCS
Tưởng rằng đã quên Phạm Duy

Jason Gibbs: Tân nhạc Việt Nam dưới mắt

Tân nhạc Việt Nam dưới mắt Jason Gibbs

31-12-2019 – 05:24 AM | Văn nghệChia sẻ

Sau nhiều năm bỏ công sức nghiên cứu âm nhạc Việt Nam (từ năm 1993), Jason Gibbs (hiện đang làm việc ở Thư viện Công cộng San Francisco, Mỹ) đã cho ra đời nhiều bài tiểu luận về tân nhạc Việt Nam, cũng như phân tích ảnh hưởng của phương Tây đối với âm nhạc Việt Nam.

Các bài viết này được tập hợp và in thành sách « Rock Hà Nội, Bolero Sài Gòn – Câu chuyện tân nhạc Việt Nam » (Nguyễn Trương Quý dịch, Phanbook và NXB Đà Nẵng ấn hành 2019), một công trình công phu mà nếu không dành tình yêu đối với âm nhạc Việt, tác giả khó có thể làm được.

Cũng như nhiều nhà nghiên cứu đi trước, Jason Gibbs bị hấp dẫn bởi tân nhạc Việt Nam từ thuở khởi phát những « bài ta theo điệu Tây » đến những bản nhạc trẻ. Dưới mắt người khách lạ, bức tranh tân nhạc Việt hiện lên từng khung hình một, xâu chuỗi nhau thành một bức tranh tổng thể giúp người đọc hình dung được tiến trình lịch sử của tân nhạc.

Là một người phương Tây, tác giả Jason Gibbs hiểu câu chuyện âm nhạc từ buổi bắt đầu. Ở đó, ông biết những tác động của âm nhạc phương Tây đến âm nhạc Việt Nam, đã làm thay đổi diện mạo của một loại hình nghệ thuật, đồng thời đánh dấu sự thay đổi của giới sáng tác, khán giả về cách tiếp nhận một nhân sinh quan mới.

Tân nhạc Việt Nam dưới mắt Jason Gibbs - Ảnh 1.

Câu chuyện tân nhạc Việt Nam là câu chuyện dài, nhiều thăng trầm và đầy biến động, mà không phải ai cũng kiên nhẫn lắng nghe huống chi tìm hiểu, nghiên cứu. Đọc danh mục tài liệu tham khảo của Jason Gibbs mới thấy hết sự tận tâm của ông, khi không ngại đào xới lịch sử để có cái nhìn chân thật về một thời kỳ đã thành quá vãng. Các tiểu luận của ông, một cách gián tiếp, là chỉ dấu để người đọc tìm kiếm thêm những tài liệu bên ngoài cuốn sách. Trong hình thức những bài rời, các tiểu luận cho thấy sự tiếp cận của ông ở mức cố khái quát hóa và truy ngược về nguồn. Thông qua những bài báo viết trong thời điểm đó, Jason Gibbs không chỉ tái dựng không khí xã hội, nơi mà những thanh âm của nhạc ngũ cung nhường chỗ dần cho âm nhạc Tây phương. Nơi mà cùng với thời gian là sự hưng thịnh rồi thoái trào của những loại hình trình diễn sân khấu như « hát ả đào ».

Viết về những sự kiện này, trong giọng của Jason Gibbs ta thấy rõ có nhiều tiếc nuối. Dù khước từ đi sâu vào phân tích cảm tính chất lãng mạn, đôi khi sướt mướt vốn thường gặp đối với đại bộ phận công chúng yêu nhạc Việt Nam khi nhắc về nhạc tiền chiến hay bolero, ông cũng không giấu được sự lay động trước thứ tình cảm phương Đông, tiếng nói từ phương xa của ông đánh thức con người bản xứ trong ta một thứ tình luyến lưu với chính nền âm nhạc của mình. Cứ như nghe lại một câu chuyện cổ tích và nhận ra ẩn sau cái vỏ giản dị của nó là cả một bài học.

Là một người chơi nhạc, bản thân ông đã có mối gắn kết sâu xa với tâm hồn những nhạc sĩ. Là một nhà nghiên cứu, ông chú trọng vào nhạc thuật, những đặc điểm ngôn ngữ, từ đó mới nhận ra mối tương giao giữa đời sống với âm nhạc. Quá trình xây dựng tác phẩm này, ông cũng tự hoàn thành danh mục hàng ngàn bài hát cho chính mình. Biết tiếng Việt, ông có thể phân tích ca từ để từ đó phát ra được một thứ cảm thức chung tác động đến các nhạc sĩ đương thời. Huỳnh Trọng Khang Xem nhiều

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Tân nhạc Việt Nam dưới mắt Jason Gibbs

31-12-2019 – 05:24 AM | Văn nghệChia sẻ

Sau nhiều năm bỏ công sức nghiên cứu âm nhạc Việt Nam (từ năm 1993), Jason Gibbs (hiện đang làm việc ở Thư viện Công cộng San Francisco, Mỹ) đã cho ra đời nhiều bài tiểu luận về tân nhạc Việt Nam, cũng như phân tích ảnh hưởng của phương Tây đối với âm nhạc Việt Nam.

Các bài viết này được tập hợp và in thành sách « Rock Hà Nội, Bolero Sài Gòn – Câu chuyện tân nhạc Việt Nam » (Nguyễn Trương Quý dịch, Phanbook và NXB Đà Nẵng ấn hành 2019), một công trình công phu mà nếu không dành tình yêu đối với âm nhạc Việt, tác giả khó có thể làm được.

Cũng như nhiều nhà nghiên cứu đi trước, Jason Gibbs bị hấp dẫn bởi tân nhạc Việt Nam từ thuở khởi phát những « bài ta theo điệu Tây » đến những bản nhạc trẻ. Dưới mắt người khách lạ, bức tranh tân nhạc Việt hiện lên từng khung hình một, xâu chuỗi nhau thành một bức tranh tổng thể giúp người đọc hình dung được tiến trình lịch sử của tân nhạc.

Là một người phương Tây, tác giả Jason Gibbs hiểu câu chuyện âm nhạc từ buổi bắt đầu. Ở đó, ông biết những tác động của âm nhạc phương Tây đến âm nhạc Việt Nam, đã làm thay đổi diện mạo của một loại hình nghệ thuật, đồng thời đánh dấu sự thay đổi của giới sáng tác, khán giả về cách tiếp nhận một nhân sinh quan mới.

Tân nhạc Việt Nam dưới mắt Jason Gibbs - Ảnh 1.

Câu chuyện tân nhạc Việt Nam là câu chuyện dài, nhiều thăng trầm và đầy biến động, mà không phải ai cũng kiên nhẫn lắng nghe huống chi tìm hiểu, nghiên cứu. Đọc danh mục tài liệu tham khảo của Jason Gibbs mới thấy hết sự tận tâm của ông, khi không ngại đào xới lịch sử để có cái nhìn chân thật về một thời kỳ đã thành quá vãng. Các tiểu luận của ông, một cách gián tiếp, là chỉ dấu để người đọc tìm kiếm thêm những tài liệu bên ngoài cuốn sách. Trong hình thức những bài rời, các tiểu luận cho thấy sự tiếp cận của ông ở mức cố khái quát hóa và truy ngược về nguồn. Thông qua những bài báo viết trong thời điểm đó, Jason Gibbs không chỉ tái dựng không khí xã hội, nơi mà những thanh âm của nhạc ngũ cung nhường chỗ dần cho âm nhạc Tây phương. Nơi mà cùng với thời gian là sự hưng thịnh rồi thoái trào của những loại hình trình diễn sân khấu như « hát ả đào ».

Viết về những sự kiện này, trong giọng của Jason Gibbs ta thấy rõ có nhiều tiếc nuối. Dù khước từ đi sâu vào phân tích cảm tính chất lãng mạn, đôi khi sướt mướt vốn thường gặp đối với đại bộ phận công chúng yêu nhạc Việt Nam khi nhắc về nhạc tiền chiến hay bolero, ông cũng không giấu được sự lay động trước thứ tình cảm phương Đông, tiếng nói từ phương xa của ông đánh thức con người bản xứ trong ta một thứ tình luyến lưu với chính nền âm nhạc của mình. Cứ như nghe lại một câu chuyện cổ tích và nhận ra ẩn sau cái vỏ giản dị của nó là cả một bài học.

Là một người chơi nhạc, bản thân ông đã có mối gắn kết sâu xa với tâm hồn những nhạc sĩ. Là một nhà nghiên cứu, ông chú trọng vào nhạc thuật, những đặc điểm ngôn ngữ, từ đó mới nhận ra mối tương giao giữa đời sống với âm nhạc. Quá trình xây dựng tác phẩm này, ông cũng tự hoàn thành danh mục hàng ngàn bài hát cho chính mình. Biết tiếng Việt, ông có thể phân tích ca từ để từ đó phát ra được một thứ cảm thức chung tác động đến các nhạc sĩ đương thời. Huỳnh Trọng Khang Xem nhiều

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JASON GIBBS : Reform and Tradition in Early Vietnamese Popular Song

Reform and Tradition in Early Vietnamese Popular Song

JASON GIBBS

by Jason Gibbs, Mar 2, 2017 | Destinations: Vietnam / Hanoi

Among young, urban Vietnamese of the 1930s, the clarion call was for reform and renovation in all areas of life. In the midst of colonial domination, a new Vietnamese national consciousness was emerging. Having seen the negative consequences of the xenophobia and conservatism of their grandparents, they believed that in order to develop into a nation among nations in the larger world, it would be necessary to reform all aspects of Vietnamese life. There were those among the literary and artistic avant-garde and among journalists who ridiculed all that was rural, feudalist, and old-fashioned, and on the other hand promoted all that was thought to be civilized and modern. They pushed the middle class to throw away old customs and habits, and to Europeanize both materially and spiritually.(see note 1)

All areas of creative inquiry underwent reappraisal. Artist To Ngoc Van spoke of the positive results of the 1926 opening of the College of Art (Cao Dang My Thuat) in Hanoi:

Before this school opened, nobody in our country could be called an artist. The masses didn’t know how to appreciate art. Ugly houses, ridiculous furniture, motley drawings were expressions of this confusion. Since the first class of students at the Art College, this situation has begun to turn around. The display of art work …causes everyone to more knowledgeably pay attention to the beautiful&Our lives are more elegant. (originally published in Ngay Nay magazine, cited in Pham The Ngu 1965: 422).

Additionally, a new literature in the romanized quoc ngu alphabet was rapidly developing new forms, new writing styles, and exploring new subject matter. After a time restless young Vietnamese began to turn their attentions to the renovation of music. Most of this generation knew little about music; some posed the rhetorical question of whether « Vietnam could have a music? » (see note 2) The Vietnamese were looking at themselves through newly acquired Western glasses and saw largely backward practices. One journalist, lamenting the « weakness » of Vietnamese music, asked:

In former times was there music? What were the characteristics of this music? How was music education organized in our country? How important a position did music have in intellectual and spiritual life?

The author goes on to complain that Vietnamese music is:

…imparted by methods lacking a clear scientific basis that is capable of being understood or realized by everyone. Music is a kind of esoteric study, lacking universality and ubiwuity like in the West. Owing to this, new arts from abroad have easily seduced the people (Dinh Gia Trinh 1945: 83).

The question for concerned Vietnamese was how to form a music that fit with new times? At the same time with their new national conciousness, it was unacceptable to the Vietnamese to be simply « seduced » and overrun by Western music.

Vietnam is a country with a great regional diversity. Some musical traditions were known throughout the country; others were strictly local. The overall level of « music appreciation » in the country was very low. Even musicians very knowledgeable about one genre, could be unaware of, or provincial in their attitude toward other musics. Quite possibly there was no one aware of all of the country’s musical forms. All of this brought the Vietnamese to feel the need for constructing a national musical culture.

By the 1930s, professional musical activity in Hanoi largely consisted of performances of traditional theatre, reformed or cai luong theatre, hat a dao, also known as ca tru – poetry sung by women for men -, or the songs of blind mendicants who performed near train and bus stations. Vietnamese society had long viewed such singers and musicians as being of low moral or social status. Educated music lovers played only for their own enjoyment, or engaged in a form of refined chamber music.

Two outside musical influences forever changed the position of music in Vietnamese life: the instruction of Western classical music, and the arrival of Western popular song. Classical music achieved its foothold through the Catholic church and Catholic schools, as well as through the opening of Hanoi’s short-lived Conservatoire de Musique Français d’Extreme-Orient in 1927. Popular song swept through urban Vietnam owing to the popularity of talking films and ballroom dancing. The spread of Western classical music training worked to gradually bring about a reappraisal of musical value and a more systematic form of pedagogy. Popular song, on the other hand, went straight into the hearts of young Vietnamese.

Initially, Vietnamese youth listened to songs in French, or French songs rewritten with Vietnamese lyrics. In the late 1930s a new popular song form that came to be called nhac cai cach, or reformed music, rapidly developed. This reformed music was not clearly defined, but was generally used to denote the new western-style music composed by Vietnamese. One composer described this reformed music as « internationalized music » (Tham Oanh 1948: 2). While on the one hand it represented the invasion of an alien cultural form, it also served to spur the Vietnamese to an interest in and awareness of their own traditional music.

This cultural invasion brought a new institution to Vietnam — the figure of the « composer. » One contemporary, commenting on this new development, ridiculed the composers « who haven’t had a lesson in harmony » who aspired to be like the composers they had seen on the silver screen, such as Bellini in Casta Diva and Schubert in La Symphonie inachevee (Mai Van Luong 1942: 10). Formal compositional training at that time remained an impossibility. Some classically trained musicians learned solfeggio and music theory through their instrumental studies; others studied harmony and composition through correspondence courses.

Reformed music entered into Vietnamese polemics on June 26, 1938 in the magazine Ngay Nay (Today) with the publication of the article: « A hope for our musical life: Mr. Nguyen Van Tuyen. » This article, written by The Lu, a leading figure of the literary avant-garde, tells of a lecture demonstration by a singer / songwriter from Hue and the great interest this event aroused among young intellectuals in Hanoi (The Lu 1938). Prior to this event, a few young Hanoians had composed songs, but had not yet overcome their fear of the attendant social stigma if they publicly performed and promoted their work. It took this concert and the publicity it received in Ngay Nay magazine to open the floodgates and bring Vietnamese composers into the open. Shortly afterward, the magazine began publishing a series of newly composed songs.

A subsequent August 21, 1938 editorial describes the resulting rush of song submissions from their readership. While stating the magazine’s wish to provide a forum for new songs, the editorial’s author had the following misgiving: « Glancing at the songs that you’ve recently sent, we’ve noticed that a large number lack a Vietnamese character. Usually they are Western melodies, without a trace of the Vietnamese soul. » He encouraged composers « to research, compose and arrange new songs, that aren’t dry, aren’t lacking in determination, that aren’t monotonously sad like the old melodies, » but most importantly, « they must have a Vietnamese character » (N. N. 1938: 18). This admonishment for retaining a « Vietnamese character » in song has been a concern for Vietnamese composers up through the present time.

One of the first to heed this call to research and compose was Nguyen Xuan Khoat (1910-1993). His song « Binh minh » or « Dawn, » a setting of a lyric by none other than The Lu, was the first song published in Ngay Nay (Nguyen Xuan Khoat 1938). This song, shown in example 1-b, falls entirely within a pentatonic scale corresponding to the Bac or northern mode in Vietnamese music. This melody is not unlike the traditional melody « Luu thuy » or « Flowing Water », a Chinese-derived melody from the Vietnamese chamber music repertory. Example 1 presents the opening of the basic skeletal melody of « Luu thuy » followed by the opening of « Binh minh. »

Example 1 / Luu Thuy from (Tran Van Khe, 216) & Binh Minh (1938), Nguyen Xuan Khoat

translation: Binh minh – Dawn

Waiting for dawn, the land’s soul silently lives in fog
and wind
Waiting for dawn, the beautiful flower’s soul gently
sinks into scented slumber

Khoat was among the first Vietnamese musicians educated in Western classical music, studying the contrabass at the Conservatoire de Musique Française d’Extreme Orient. He was also one of the first Vietnamese to work professionally as a concert musician frequently playing alongside French, Filipino and White Russian musicians. Like many Vietnamese of the time he felt an internal conflict between the necessity to learn modern, Western ways, and a love for his country and his culture. While some of his classically trained contemporaries openly rejected traditional music, he felt strongly drawn to music of his country. Thus, in addition to his paying jobs playing chamber music and in dancehalls for the French, he used his classical music training to independently research traditional music. He sought out and studied with masters of traditional theater, asking them to sing so he could transcribe their melodies according to Western notation. He even opened a nha co dau, or a house that presented hat a dao, in order to increase his access to this music and facilitate his research and transcription (see note 3). He published transcriptions of melodies from the hat cheo folk theater and wrote articles for cultural magazines helping to make this new generation aware of Vietnam’s rich and varied musical tradition.

Example 2 shows the opening a 1944 song entitled « May cao bay » or « Clouds Fly High Above » also with a lyric by The Lu (see note 4). Preceding that is a transcription of a declaimed passage, « Noi su ghe rau, » from the hat cheo drama Luu Binh Duong Le. Both the song and the cheo excerpt are centered on a tetrachord consisting of a pair of D-E and G-A dyads.

Example 2 / « Noi su ghe rau, »28″-52 » / May cao bay (1943), Nguyen Xuan Khoat.

translation: Noi su ghe rau

…with Duong Quan, who is my friend in study. For
ten years, 2 books, 1 (lamp).

May cao bay – Clouds Fly High

Clouds fly high, to anywhere. Anywhere, the flowers
spread the dew.

Khoat was well respected for his musicianship and devotion to Vietnamese music, but he disdained popular dance-forms, and thus his songs were not among the most widely performed of their time. Fashionable Hanoi youth were trying to outdo themselves in writing new Vietnamese lyrics to French songs, or going out to dance the foxtrot, waltz and tango. While the classically trained musicians of the Conservatoire studied the piano and bowed string instruments, the popularly influenced musicians started teaching themselves the mandolin, the guitar, the Hawaiian guitar and the banjo.

One of the early participants of the foxtrot, tango, waltz school in the late 1930s and early 1940s was Duong Thieu Tuoc (1915-1995). He played guitar and Hawaiian guitar in the « Orchestre Myosotis, » perhaps the first Vietnamese band that played their own original material. They performed at first in private homes and salons, but in time also performed in public at movie theatres and cafes. Tuoc wrote his earliest songs to French lyrics with titles like « Souvenance » or (Memories) and « Ton doux sourire » or (Your sweet smile). After that he composed a number of successful songs in Vietnamese after that, such as: « Tam hon anh tim em » (My Soul is Looking for You), « Ky niem mot buoi chieu » (An Afternoon’s Memory) and « Thuyen mo » (The Boat of Dreams).

All of this popular song activity belies his background. He came from an upper-class literate family, educated in the older Chinese-derived han script and in Confucian values. His grandfather Duong Khue was a mandarin and respected poet (see note 5). His father, also a mandarin, enjoyed playing chamber music and encouraged his son’s early musical studies, buying him a smaller-sized dan nguyet, the traditional 2-string lute, which he began studying at age 7. For the next several years he continued studying the dan nguyet as well as the dan tranh, the 16-string zither, with a variety of teachers from the Southern and Hue chamber music traditions who taught him their repertory and playing techniques.

At the age of 14 he began to study Western music, learning the piano with a French teacher. Then at 16 (in 1931) he began his study of the classical guitar, the instrument that became the enduring musical love of his life. He became very proficient and remained a respected guitar teacher up until his death. Like other youth, he became smitten with Western songs that he heard through phonograph records and talking films. He was especially bewitched by the Hawaiian guitar, an instrument that he also learned to play skillfully (Duong Thieu Tuoc 1948a: 2).

He continued to write successful, well-crafted songs to dance rhythms throughout the 1940s. Toward the end of the decade his outlook developed and he consciously returned to the traditional music he grew up with as an inspiration for his song writing. In a memoir he later wrote:

It’s my point of view that new Vietnamese music must have compositions that when performed express the Vietnamese national character. In order for that to be possible, we composers should know our national music through the study of an instrument, or through singing this kind of music; only from there can there be development (see note 6).

He goes on to discuss a trilogy of songs he had written, each song reflecting the music of Vietnam’s three principal regions: « Tieng xua » (Sounds of the Past) from the South; « Dem tan Ben Ngu » (Night’s End at the Royal Docks) from the Center; « The non nuoc » (Prayer for the Fatherland, a setting of a poem by Tan Da) from the North.

« Dem tan Ben Ngu » or « Night’s End at the Royal Docks » is a composition dating from around 1951 that is based upon the modality of Hue traditional music. Duong Thieu Tuoc would have been very familiar with this repertoire from his youth. Around the time this song was composed, he was also spending time in Hue courting his second wife, Minh Trang, a famous singer of the time and a Hue native. His is reputed to have spent time seeking out the folk music of the region and transcribing it into western notation (Le Hoang Long 1996: 129-130).

The song itself is about the encounter of a man with a former love, who sings traditional Hue music, or ca Hue in a boat upon the Huong river. The lyrics themselves refer to two melodic patterns of this repertoire, the Nam binh and the Nam ai. Example 3 couples three passages from the song with excerpts from Nam binh and Nam ai transcribed by Tran Van Khe from a 78 rpm record on Columbia Records (see note 7).

The Nam binh figure in example 3.1 is a transposition of a portion of Tran Van Khe’s example 87, and prominently features a Bb-C-F trichord. This trichord appears in measures 1-2, 7-8, and 9-10 of « Dem tan Ben Ngu. » The C-D-C-Bb-C of the Nam binh example is found in the song with the text « cho ta nhan. »

Example 3.1 / Nam binh (after ex. 87, Tran Van Khe 1962) & Dem tan Ben Ngu, mm. 1-9

translation: Dem tan Ben Ngu – Night’s End at the Royal Docks

Whoever goes back to Ben Ngu docks, allow us to
send along out message

Surely you remember the huong fatherland

Tran Van Khe designates the passage presented in example 3.2 as a metabole within Nam binh. The G-F-Eb-F figure in the center of this passage is like measures of 32-33 of « Dem tan Ben Ngu. » This figure is also framed by a Bb-C-F trichord in measures 30-31 and 35-36.

Example 3.2 / Nam binh « metabole » (after ex. 87, Tran Van Khe) & Dem tan Ben Ngu, mm. 30-36

translation:

Like sobs crying for a love tinged with shame
The glimmering moon dims. Who grieving, who’s
sighing?

Example 3.3 presents a transposition of part of Tran Van Khe’s example 88, a transcription of Nam ai. The succession Bb-C-(F)-D-C-F is very similar to measures 35-37 of « Dem tan Ben Ngu. » Additionally the F-G-Bb trichord of the Nam ai example is also found in measure 42-43 of the song.

Example 3.3 / Nam ai (after ex. 87, Tran Van Khe 1962) & Demm tan Ben Ngu, mm. 35-43

translation:

What happiness is there in life’s fog and wind
Who’s missing who? Here at night’s waning, feelings
have faded

Performers of « Dem tan Ben Ngu » will sing the melody with additional ornamentation and try to reflect the intonation of Hue music. The note Bb of the song is usually sung sharp with extra vibrato, also reflected by the raised Bbs of Tran Van Khe’s transcriptions in examples 3.2 and 3.3. It would go to far to say the Duong Thieu Tuoc composed his song in Nam ai or Nam binh, but the influence of these modes is unmistakable. Vietnamese audiences have no trouble in identifying this song as « Hue music. » (see note 8)

With such reverence and respect for their traditional music, why did men like Nguyen Xuan Khoat and Duong Thieu Tuoc feel compelled to create works that, however successful, were musical hybrids. Duong Thieu Tuoc felt that traditional music was limited by its small repertory of compositions, thus there was a need for new compositions that « use Western techniques to write out musical gestures intensely filled with a national character » (Duong Thieu Tuoc 1963, 93). Nguyen Xuan Khoat, inculcated with the internationalist outlook inherent in a classical music training, in a 1942 interview spoke of his hope to use what is beautiful from Western music to try to contribute something of value to the world’s musical life. He insisted that such a goal was only possible for Vietnamese composers if they wrote a purely Vietnamese music that was informed by the study of traditional music (Nguyen Xuan Khoat 1942: 28-29).

Both composers remained advocates for traditional music throughout their lives. Nguyen Xuan Khoat, later the Premier of the Musician’s Association in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, encouraged further research into traditional music and served as an exemplar for many musicians; he has been called the « anh ca » or « elder brother » of modern Vietnamese music (Nguyen Thuy Kha 1996). Many of his later works were written for traditional instruments. Duong Thieu Tuoc, along with his guitar teaching at the National School of Music (Truong Quoc gia Am nhac) in South Vietnam, organized concerts which he called « Co kim hoa dieu », or « Melodies Harmonizing the Old and New, » where traditional instruments played alongside Western instruments, performing a mixed repertoire including his songs.

The arrival of Western culture gave all aspects of Vietnamese life, including music, a strong jolt. A previously conservative culture now rushed to adapt to the changes brought to them from the West. The French occupation, the adoption of new learning and values all brought changes to the social activities and institutions that had previously nourished older musical forms. Some music disappeared; other music underwent changes and development. Still other new musical forms came into existence. New institutions also came into being: institutions very basic to Western musical culture like the conservatory, staff notation, music pedagogy, the concert stage, and, of course, the composer.

The title of this paper « Reform and Tradition in Early Vietnamese Popular Song » requires some explanation, because the Vietnamese do not use the term « popular song. » I have used it because the music I am concerned with corresponds to our Western understanding of popular music; it’s a urban music, often market-based, performed with chordal progressions and a rhythm section, distributed through the mass media, etc… But I should emphasize that composers like Nguyen Xuan Khoat and Duong Thieu Tuoc were not trying to create « popular music » but to create Vietnamese music. They were concerned that if their country’s music did not advance it might one day be lost. This first generation of Vietnamese composers were committed to the preservation and study of traditional music, but at the same time, as Duong Thieu Tuoc put it, they « wished that Vietnam’s music could progress and escape its restrictive ancient framework »; they wanted to « lay the first bricks to reconstruct and renovate the nation’s music » (Duong Thieu Tuoc 1948b: 4). Simultaneously attracted to and apprehensive about the invasion of Western music, they saw themselves as modern Vietnamese creating Vietnamese music that derived its value from the traditional and met the demands of their changing world.

Notes:

1. This article was originally published in Nhac Viet: The Journal of Vietnamese Music, Fall 1997. An earlier version of this paper was read at the 1997 Society for Ethnomusicology meetings in Toronto. I would like to thank Thach Cam, Le Ngoc Chan and Nguyen Thuy Loan for making suggestions that helped me focus my study.

2. The title of an interview with Nguyen Xuan Khoat. See Nguyen Xuan Khoat. 1942.

3. From an April 1995 letter from To Hoai to Van Tam. Cited in Van Tam 1995: 52.

4. « May cao Bay » is a song written for a play by The Lu entitled: Tram Huong Dinh. See Nguyen Xuan Khoat 1979: 27.

5. Duong Khue (1836-1898) is well known for the poem « Hong Hong Tuyet Tuyet » (Miss Pink, Miss Snow) a staple of the hat a dao repertory. See the special issue of Nhac Viet devoted to ca tru (Norton 1996, 34).

6. Quoted from a hand-written memoir by the composer in a private collection (n.d.).

7. Columbia records G. F. 568. Item 73 in Tran Van Khe’s discography (Tran Van Khe 1962: 341).

8. Singers of ca Hue performing on boats on the Huong river in Hue in August 1996 told me that they will include « Dem tan Ben Ngu » if it is requested by the audience.

References cited:

Quy Bon.

1991. « noi su ghe rau. » Music from Vietnam.
Caprice Records, CAP 21406

Nguyen Thuy Kha.

1996. « nguyen Xuan Khoat: nguoi anh ca cua tan
nhac, » Am nhac,3: 6-7.

Tran Van khe.

1962. La musique vietnamienne traditionelle.
(paris: Presses Universitaire de France).

Nguyen Xuan Khoat.

1938. « Binh minh » in Ngay Nay 121 (31 juilet 1938): 8.

1942. « Nuoc Vietnam co the co mot nen am nhac
duoc khong? Mot buoi noi chuyen voi nhac si
Nguyen Xuan Khoat, » Thanh Nghi, 17 (1 juillet): 28-30.

1979. « On lai quang duong sang tac am nhac cua
toi, » Tap chi Nghien cuu nghe thuat 25: 20-34.

1994. Tuyen chon ca khuc Nguyen Xuan Khoat.
(Hanoi: Hoi Nhac si Viet Nam – Nha xuat ban Am nhac).

Nguyen Thuy Loan and Sten Sandahl

1991. Liner notes. Music from Vietnam. Caprice, CAP 21406.

Le Hoang Long

1996. Chuyen tinh cac nhac si tien chien: hoi uc
(Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Van hoa Thong tin).

The Lu.

1938. « Mot hy vong trong lang am nhac: Ong
Nguyen Van Tuyen, » Ngay Nay 116 (26 juin).

Mai Van Luong.

1942. « La chanson annamite, » Indochine
Hebdomadaire Illustree 3e annee, no. 79 (5 mars):
6-11.

N.N.

« Cung cac nhac si, » Ngay Nay 124 (21 aout): 18

Pham The Ngu.

1965. Viet nam Van hoc su: gian uoc tan bien, tap
3, van hoc hien dai, 1862-1945
. (Saigon: Quoc hoc
Tung thu).

Norton, Barley.

1996. « Ca tru: A Vietnamese chamber music
genre, » Nhac Viet 5 (Fall): 1-103.

Tham Oanh.

1948. « lich trinh tien hoa cua nm sm nhac cai
cach Viet Nam, » Viet Nhac 4 (1 thang 10): 2, 17.

Van Tam.

1995. Doan Phu Tu: con nguoi va tac pham.
(Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Van hoc).

Dinh Gia Trinh.

1945. « Dia vi van Au Tay trong van hoa Vietnam, »
Thanh Nghi 100-104 (15 fevrier): 82-85.

Duong Thieu Tuoc.

1948a. « Don luc huyen cam Ha uy di, » Viet Nhac 1
(16 thang 8): 4, 9.

1948b. « Mot vai kien ve am nhac Viet nam cai
cach, » Viet Nhac 2 (1 thang 9), p. 4, 17.

1953. « Dem tan Ben Ngu. » (Hue: Nha xat ban Tinh
Hoa).

« Bach Khoa phong van gioi nhac si: Duong Thieu
Tuoc, » Bach Khoa 156 (15 thang 8): 90-94.


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Jason Gibbs Tradition and Continuities in Vietnamese Social Music Making The Conference of International Musicological Society (IMS),

30.8.2004 Jason Gibbs Tradition and Continuities in Vietnamese Social Music Making The Conference of International Musicological Society (IMS), July 11-16, 2004 

In this paper I’m going to speak of two musical manifestations that couldn’t be sonically more unlike, and couldn’t be more different in their contemporary social valuation. Hat a dao, also known as ca tru, is a refined Vietnamese traditional artform that is perhaps a thousand years old. Karaoke is a medium that is only a few decades old and is not usually thought to constitute a tradition. However, taking a historical perspective and calling on my own experience in Vietnam I find similarity in their social function and believe that the stories I’m going to tell about both forms shed some light on both of them and perhaps on the concept of tradition.

In 2001 the New York Times published an article entitled « A folk tradition fades, but the melody lingers on ». [1] This piece is about 85 year old Pham Thi Mui, « one of the last living masters of ca tru, » which is described as « one of the disappearing traditional art forms that Vietnamese are struggling to preserve as the modern world overwhelms them. » The art of hat a dao was truly a tradition, passed on from mother to daughter; it usually took four to six years of study before a young woman was considered ready to sing. While Mrs. Mui is teaching her traditional art to her granddaughter, she laments: « If I knew it would last, I’d work harder to teach the young people. But I’m afraid it won’t last. I know it won’t last. And even if I teach the youngsters to sing, what audience will they have? »

What today’s Vietnamese call ca tru in the first half of the 20th century was usually called as hat a dao – the term I will use. Ca tru literally means singing with cards, the cards being bamboo tokens given to performers as praise, and payment. Hat a dao means singing of songstresses, a dao being the term for the singers who are always women. [2]Hat a dao is poetry sung to the accompaniment of the dan day, a 3-string lute unique to Vietnam, phach, or a bamboo block, performed by the singer, and the trong chau, a praise drum performed by a listener.
The history of hat a dao is rather murky, but the art appears to have its origins in the court who used it in ceremonies and festivals. It became a music of the regional aristocracy, performed for both kings and mandarins, and was organized according to a guild system. [3] By the 19th century hat a dao moved away from the court and into the private homes of mandarins. This style became known as hat choi or « singing for entertainment » and became the predominant venue for the art. [4] It fostered a style of verse that was individualistic, sometimes expressing discontent with the existing political order; it contained a germ of liberal, independent thought running contrary to Confucianism. [5]

Stephen Addiss has sketched the creative context of hat a dao:
A literatus, for example, might write a verse and dedicate it to a colleague. Instead of simply giving the poem to his friend, he could take it first to a singer. She would scan it for its form and note the tones of each word, and then accompany the poet to his friend’s house with a dan day player. The friend would strike the small drum in such a way that he could rhythmically comment on the poem. The drum part added to the musical totality making the friend both performer and critic. [6]

By the twentieth century, the reception of hat a dao had became confused. The art form had ceased to be exclusive to the educated mandarinate, and had become a form of private enterprise. A whole entertainment district formed on the outskirts of Hanoi on Kham Thien street. Here what had been an exclusive artform became available to all who could pay.
Novelist Thach Lam wrote in 1933:
“Our elders went to [hat a dao] to withdraw for an instant from society’s strictures, borrowing melodies to engender vague sadness, sorrow, and yearning in their hearts. The songs all speak of the discouragements of man’s short life, the transitory nature of beauty, and of happiness being like an ephemeral dream; all in voices of lament, attachment, and pain”. [7]

He thought that this was appropriate for older men who had experience in the matters of the world. The problem at that time was that hat a dao had become popular among a younger clientele, for whom it promoted dissipation. The songstress houses offered women who were attractive, but not literate. Hat a dao by Thach Lam’s time had become a backdoor to social vices, leading men into questionable liasons, and even worse to venereal disease, gambling, and opium addiction. French government reports categorized co dau as a branch of a flourishing prostitution trade in Hanoi. [8]

I would like to present a series of images that illustrate the evolution of hat a dao. Example 1 from a 1890 monograph shows what appears to be a hat a dao guild. Example 2 illustrates the genre’s passing into the world of commerce in a Victor record catalog for the Vietnamese market. Examples 3 and 4 show hat a dao as an escape (unsuccessful in these instances) for men from the « lion » at home. The fourth example shows that the son, dressed in a western fashion, also dallied in these establishments.

Example 2 – from a Victor record catalog (1925)
EXAMPLE 3 – « Look at that face! And you said you were participating in a rescue benefit! Who are you rescuing? Who are you benefiting? Oo! It’s to rescue and benefit unemployed women. » (Phong Hoa ca. 1932)
EXAMPLE 4 – Top caption: « The young master’s a quick thinker »
Bottom caption: « Good heavens! You’ve come down here, father? Hide, quick, mother’s on the prowl out there » (Phong Hoa, Sep. 1, 1932)

Even much later there were still a few establishments that offered hat a dao as an art. Poet Dinh Hung wrote a memoir of going to a songstress house with the afforementioned Thach Lam, as well as some other writers associated with the Tu Luc Van Doan (the Self-Reliance Literary Group), an active organization promoting literary and social progress in Vietnam in the 1930s. When they came to the songstress house they unexpectedly met up with the famed essayist Nguyen Tuan, a true afficianado of the artform. Dinh Hung, a junior tag-along to his eminent colleagues, described a scene of joviality along with an intense interest in upholding the propriety of the artform. This involved proper execution of praise drum that provides a continous commentary on the vocal performance. He noted everyone’s surprise that Thach Lam’s brother, Nhat Linh, who was educated in Paris and played the clarinet, could play the drum in an uncharacteristic, but appropriate manner. The author was further surprised that Thach Lam who hardly frequented such establishments proved deft at the drum. The overall atmosphere described was convivial, collegial, but also with good-natured competition. [9] Another detail that should be noted is that even though three very esteemed literary and intellectual figures took part in this evening, not one of them ever wrote verse for hat a dao, instead they called for the singers to interpret great poetry of the past. This in itself is an indication the genre’s decline irrespective of its associated social evils.

In 1946 all of Vietnam erupted into the first Indochina War with France. After 1954 the victorious communists unofficially banned hat a dao, which came to be seen as feudal holdover, and representative of decadent living. The Vietnamese government organized research and promoted many traditional musical forms, but hat a dao was relatively neglected owing to the social sphere that it came from. During this there was limited broadcast of hat a dao using revolutionary poetry, but very little live performance.

Novelist To Hoai describes attending one of these rare performances of two esteemed performers during the war, when hat a dao was otherwise proscribed. Organized like a Western-style concert there was an audience, applause between numbers, and the praise drum was omitted. He described his friend, the afore-mentioned Nguyen Tuan, an avid participant in the
art form in former times, walking out on the performance. [10] I view this anecdote as the clearest possible expression noting hat a dao‘s demise as a living tradition. The sound was there, presented by the finest performers. Yet the proper atmosphere was lacking, and, perhaps, by that time was irretrievably gone. The vitality of the artform had depended on an audience that was educated in its intricacies, but that also existed within a society that allowed for leisure and gender relations that weren’t tenable in Vietnam’s Communist society.

In summary, hat a dao, with ceremonial or ritual origins by the 19th century became a refined, private entertainment for Vietnam’s educated elite. With the societal changes brought about colonization, it became a commercial venture which caused it to be associated with social problems. It had always needed a material basis – in the past it was supported by the court, then by the mandarinate, and in the end by the market. It also always needed a social setting – a comprehending audience with leisure time and the musicians who spent years learning the music and the appropriate social interaction. Another important part of the milieu was the male – female dynamic. The audience members were men who acted in a world of men, and who were wed to women they met through arranged marriage. The a dao were possibly women who they had more in common with than their wives. The semantic change from hat a dao to ca tru also entailed the veiling of the a dao, or songstress. Although the literature about hat a dao doesn’t discuss this, and essential aspect of the experience was the relationships – personal, emotional, even sexual (platonic or otherwise) – in this intimate setting between the singers and the audience. [11] I think it’s difficult to imagine such a setting for hat a dao ever returning.

Now I’d like to move to my experiences closer to the present time. During 1996, while in Hanoi tracking down a famous Vietnamese popular singer from the 1940s and 1950s I became acquainted with a journalist friend of his. This journalist, An Binh, took an interest in me, and in having me understand Vietnam. I received a phone call from him inviting me to a « cultural evening » (dem van nghe). I got the particulars of when and where, and on the appointed day came to the appointed destination on a busy block of Nguyen Khuyen street. Here I came to a store front with a couple of young women hanging out at the doorway. This was a karaoke establishment and karaoke was to be the medium of the evening’s culture. The culture in fact consisted of all of us – that is I, my friend, some of his other male friends and the hostesses – conversing, listening to music, and very importantly singing songs. An Binh in particular seemed to be particularly transported by the occasion.

I must confess that my Vietnamese at the time did not match the task of understanding all of the words that were being sung as they appeared upon the video monitor. The songs he sang, An Binh later told me, « are feelings for a friend that are deepest, even more than words. » He described the evening as « memories that I can never forget, the sentiments that I shared with you. » [12] « Tinh cam » is the word that I’ve translated as « sentiments » and is a very important emotion for the Vietnamese – it’s a combination of loving or high regard and strong feelings, and often comes through shared experience. I believe that such an emotion would have been a crucial element in the atmosphere of hat a dao.

A second karaoke experience occured during the same trip. I was invited to a party at the Especen Club (79E Hang Trong Street). The fellow attendees included my friend An Binh, the popular singer from the 1950s, Ngoc Bao, two other journalists, both middle-age women, and a very esteemed songwriter, Van Ky. There were also two young women who may have been college students. In contrast with the karaoke establishments which had young waitresses, we were waited on by young men who worked for the club. This event featured a good deal more socializing, but singing, usually assisted by karaoke was an important element. We all took part in some way. Ngoc Bao sang a new song to guitar accompaniment written for him by the songwriter. [13]
This event was memorialized by a newspaper article written by one of the journalists who conflated my singing of the song « Autumn raindrops » (« Giot mua thu ») [14] into a story about myself as a young man wandering through the rainy Hanoi streets haunted by a lost love – a story that did have a kernel of truth to it. [15] But my singing was significant to the other Vietnamese participants because I was felt to have participated in the « tinh cam » of the event.
Karaoke is popular world-wide, but is especially popular in Asian countries with long traditions of social singing. It’s popularity derives in large part from it’s an inexpensive way to create the right atmosphere for social singing. [16] The Vietnamese government has had an uneasy relation with the medium. At first the only music available for karaoke were recordings created by expatriate musicians who were banned in Vietnam, but they were widespread nonetheless. As time went on, companies in Vietnam produced karaoke videorecordings that were acceptable to the government. Nonetheless karaoke remained questionable to the authorities, as it became associated with the « social evils » (te nan xa hoi) that the people were continually exhorted to fight against. For example this past February the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and Information proposed that the government shut down karaoke businesses. The reason for this was because these businesses often serve as fronts for criminal activity – primarily prostitution. It should be noted that the Ministry very rapidly backed down from this position owing to a groundswell of public opinion, in particular from young people. [17] The parallel with hat a dao in the 1930s is obvious. In the early part of the 20th century « di hat » (go singing) meant to go to hat a dao; at century’s end it meant to go to karaoke. Just as the first karaoke establishment I visited had young, attractive hostesses, there exist many establishments where the hostesses go beyond hosting. [18]

In an article considering popular music in Japan as Japanese music–as participating in Japanese tradition–de Ferranti distinguishes between the textual and contextual qualities of musical culture. « Text » refers to the music itself in all of its dimensions, « context » to the « social, personal and political conditions that are enabling phenomena for musical experience. » [19] Looked at as text, while a good deal has been lost, much effort as gone into studying, analyzing, and preserving hat a dao. [20] In 2002 the Ford Foundation financed a three month course through Vietnam’s Bureau of Performing Arts (Cuc Nghe thuat bieu dien) to train 80 students to perform this endangered artform. [21] While this falls far short of the four to six years that the great master singers of the past undertook, it does give hope to those who would like to see this unique and wonderful art form continue into the future.

The future context of hat a dao is an entirely different matter. It’s arguable that as living, functioning social organism, it was nearly dead in the 1930s. Western-educated Vietnamese men no longer chose it regularly as a cultural activity, and most importantly had discontinued writing the necessary poetic literature to keep it alive. The societal changes brought about by the Communist state in the North as well as 30 years of warfare further discouraged its traditional performance context. [22] In Vietnam of today, it’s very difficult imagining a return to hat a dao‘s former context – men educated in the classics listening to women sing a traditional artform that takes years to perfect, in an intimate, private setting. Hat a dao is and will no longer be anyone’s first choice for entertainment and relaxation. And the gender dynamics that flourished along side it would no longer condoned in high cultural circles.
So what is hat a dao‘s context today? It is something to be learned and preserved – it is part of the museum. Philosopher Maurice Blanchot states: « … [I]n the museum … works of art, withdrawn from the movement of life and removed from the peril of time, are presented in the polished comfort of their protected existence. » For him the museum means « conservation, tradition, and security » – all of which are being provided for hat a dao. But by bringing them what he calls « pure presence » they are « stabilized in a permanence without life. » [23] In considering the actual art museum, he notes that works that it contains, most obviously religious and ritual objects, have been removed from the setting that they were created for. He writes of the attendant « illusion » – « the mistaken belief that what is there, is there as it was, whereas it is there at most as having been: that is, the illusion of presence. » Art objects in their pasts « were invisible as works of art, hidden in their place of origin where they had their shelter. » But through history they reveal « a presence that was otherwise hidden. » [24]

While this hiddenness in one way means that the objects were in their pasts not yet open to exhibition for a universal public, it also means, I think, that the objects have always been visible, but were hidden in plain sight. By this I mean that before becoming a part of the museum, in some important respect they weren’t really seen. This relates to tradition, the word tradition being derived from « traditio, » meaning delivery, handing down, even surrender. Before hat a dao entered the museum I would argue that it was invisible – it was there, but not seen. It was part of a soundscape. The necessary handing down, particularly the contextual handing down, that allowed it to thrive up until that time happened invisibly as well. The tradition allowed for some aspects of the artform continue intact, some to disappear, some new aspects to appear, without great anxiety because the artform was still hidden within the tradition.

Once, however, tradition became traditional, i.e., once what was « tradition » came to be called « traditional » – it was placed on permanent deposit in the museum, and we the scholars of the past, present, and future, are its curators. The text is recovered according to the best available methods. The context is also well-studied, but the context is gone, it is part of history, it does not translate into contemporary society. Yet the context is not entirely fixed to the text, and in itself is tradition, and because of that it can also be passed along.

My digression into the contemporary world of Vietnamese karaoke is meant to show the some aspects of hat a dao‘s context have been passed along and have aligned themselves with a different text. Viewed in this light, karaoke is tradition, but is not traditional. And because it is not part of the museum, it remains invisible. Of course, karaoke is everywhere – it bellows out from all over Vietnam. But its text is uncollected, and even seems too familiar to be known.

I am interested in hat a dao surviving, but I agree with Pham Thi Mui the traditional singer cited by the New York Times that « it won’t last » – at least not in the way she knew it. But it will survive through the curatorship of educational institutions, government agencies, foundations and scholars, and this contributes to our collective global musical heritage. But I also believe that some part of the tradition is lasting – the desire of the Vietnamese to use music in intimate settings to share feelings and bonhomie. Even if there are instances where the musical text is not felt to be of museum quality.

© 2004 Jason Gibbs


[1]Mydans, Seth. « A folk tradition fades, but the melody lingers on, » New York Times March 22, 2001, A4.
[2]Do Bang Doan and Do Trong Hue. Viet Nam ca tru bien khao. Ho Chi Minh City: Nha xuat ban Thanh pho Ho Chi Minh, 1994 [1962], 43. The a dao also came to be known as co dau.
[3]Norton, Barley. « Ca Tru: A Vietnamese Chamber Music Genre, » Nhac Viet 5 (Fall 1996), 21.
[4]op. cit., 24. Do Bang Doan, Do Trong Hue, 1962, 35.
[5]Nguyen Van Ngoc. Dao nuong ca. Hanoi: Vinh Hung Long Thu Quan, 1932, XVII, cited in Norton 1996, 26-7.
[6]Addiss, Stephen. « Text and Context in Vietnamese Sung Poetry: The Art of Hat A Dao, » Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology vol. 9 (1992), 205.
[7]Viet Sinh [Thach Lam] and Tranh Khanh. « Ha Noi ban dem (Ve nan mai dam o Ha Noi) » in Phong su Viet Nam 1932-1945, vol. 1, Phan Trong Thuong, Nguyen Cu and Nguyen Huu Son, ed., 2000, p. 702.
[8]From a report by Dr. Joyeux in Vu Trong Phung. « Luc si » in Phong su Viet Nam 1932-1945, vol. 3, Phan Trong Thuong, Nguyen Cu and Nguyen Huu Son, ed., 2000, p. 835.
[9]Dinh Hung. « Thach Lam tham am » in Dot lo huong cu. Saigon: Lua Thieng, 1971.
[10]To Hoai. Cat bui chan ai: Hoi ky. Westminster, CA: Hong Linh, 1993, 212-213. During a UNESCO sponsored recording trip in 1976 Tran Van Khe organized a performance of hat a dao. The performers were overjoyed and remarked how long it had been since they had had an opportunity do perform the old repertoire. Tran Van Khe believes that the interest that he showed help to bring hat a dao back into the open again. Tran Van Khe. Hoi ky Tran Van Khe, tap 3. N.p.: Nha xuat ban Tre, 2001, pp. 50; 58-61.
[11]In recent memoirs, two authors recall and describe extra-marital affairs or polygamous relations of their fathers with singers of hat a dao. See Elliott, Duong Van Mai. The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 219, and Nguyen Long – 79
[12]Conversation between An Binh and Hoang Thanh Thuy sent to me in an email from the latter dated November, 17, 2003.
[13]The song is entitled « Ky niem mua thu » or « Memories of Autumn. »
[14]Dang The Phong and Bui Cong Ky. « Giot mua thu, » Ha Noi: Nha xuat ban Hoang Mai Luu, 1946. This song and many of the songs that An Binh sang are from a musical period called nhac tien chien, or pre-war music. These are the Western-influenced songs from the 1930s and 1940s that in essence appeared as interested in creating new verse for hat a dao faded.
[15]Mai Thuc. « Chang trai My voi giot mua thu Ha Noi, » Phu nu thu do October 9, 1996, 5.
[16]These and other ideas are explored in Lum, Casey Man Kong. In Search of A Voice: Karaoke and the Construction of Identity in Chinese America. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1996; 8-12.
[17]Vo Ba, Nhu Linh and To Tam. « Dep het cac diem kinh doan karaoke: Gioi tre khong dong tinh! » Thanh Nien online Feb. 25, 2004. http://www.thanhnien.com.vn/TinTuc/CuocSong/2004/2/24/9044/ [viewed 5/11/04]
[18]Despite the otherwise wholesome atmosphere of that evening, I had uneasy doubts about the hostesses at this establishments – in any case the dynamic was one of male guests and young women employees. At the later karaoke party, the guests were all from Hanoi’s educated classes, but I was puzzled by the attendence of the two young women, who were more than 10 years my junior, as the next youngest guest at the event, and 20 to 50 years younger than the other guests. I can only make a guess that the invitation of these young women was thought to enhance the evening, but not for any exploitative reason.
[19]De Ferranti, Hugh. « ‘Japanese music’ can be popular, » Popular Music 21/2 (2002): 195.
[20]See for example Norton, Barley. « Ca Tru: A Vietnamese Chamber Music Genre, » Nhac Viet 5 (Fall 1996), 1-103, and Jaehichen, Gisa. Cuoc the nghiem ve hat a dao. Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Am nhac, 1997.
[21]Tran Ngoc Linh. « Ca tru: Di san chang de bao ton, » Talawas: Phong su (October 10, 2003) [Viewed April 20, 2004].
[22]It did continue to be performed in the South Vietnam up until 1975, but those who partook of it were very few in number. The Stephen Addiss article cited above results from his research in this setting.
[23]Blanchot, Maurice. « Museum Sickness » [« La mal du musee, » 1951] in Friendship. Elizabeth Poltenberg, trans. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997, 49.
[24]Ibid., 48.
Nguồn: The Conference of International Musicological Society (IMS), July 11-16, 2004 Bản dịchbản để in         

http://www.talawas.org/talaDB/showFile.php?res=2716&rb=0206

Jason Gibbs and the music story of Vietnam

Posted on 23/06/20090

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Thu 25 June, 3-5pm
Goethe Institute

Meeting with Jason Gibbs, the author of “Rock Hanoi and Rumba Cuu Long”

As stated in the sub-title “The music story of Vietnam”, Jason Gibbs’s book is a narrative about Vietnamese history and culture exposed through stories of music.

The book expresses not only a passion and sound knowledge of Vietnamese culture, language and music of its author but also his hard work to collect a wide range of information about music phenomena in the history of Vietnam.

In the occasion of his arrival in Hanoi, Knowledge Publishing House in cooperation with Goethe Institute is organizing a meeting with Jason Gibbs to discuss about the book and his research on Vietnamese music. The music stories will be revealed by Jason Gibbs and other guests such as translator Nguyen Truong Quy and rocker Tien Dat.

https://hanoigrapevine.com/2009/06/lang_enjason-gibbs-and-the-music-story-of-vietnamlang_enlang_vijason-gibbs-va-cau-chuy%E1%BB%87n-am-nh%E1%BA%A1c-vi%E1%BB%87t-namlang_vi/