Catégorie : TIẾNG ANH

HOÀNG TRÀ MY : The performance program of Vietnam traditional music with explanation, HANOI, VIETNAM

The performance program of Vietnam traditional music with explanation

In the scope of the project Promoting national tourism, within recent two years, the Vietnamese Institute for Musicology has organized many performance programs to serve for the demand of enjoying traditional music of many people, including domestic and foreign tourists with the aim of providing the audience with basic information on Vietnam traditional music.


In the afternoon of 28th March 2013, the Vietnamese Institute for Musicology organized a performance program Alleged Vietnam traditional music in the concert room of the Institute. The program consisted of these items: instrumental ensemble of Tuong orchestra, extract of Hồ Nguyệt Cô hóa cáo (Ho Nguyet Co turns into a fox) in the play Tiết Giao đoạt ngọc (Tiet Giao snatches the pearl), Then singing songs, Ca trù, Quan họ folksongs in Bắc Ninh, Văn singing, a bamboo flute solo, Tây Nguyên Gong ensemble. The program was the coordination of the Vietnamese Institute for Musicology, Vietnam Tuồng Theatre, Vietnam Chèo Theatre and some other units.

The audience was the persons who love traditional music and students of colleges and universities in Hanoi. The content of the program was very plentiful, there was alleged introduction for every performance items. With this way, the audience could understand more about the history and features of the traditional types of art.

From now until the end of 2013, in the plan of broadcasting music, the Vietnamese Institute for Musicology intends to organize many free performance programs to serve for tourists and to meet the demand of enjoying and learning about Vietnam traditional music of both domestic and foreign audiences.







Tran Quang Hai was born on 13 May 1944 in Vietnam. He is a talented and renowned musician. He comes from a family of five generations of musicians. He studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Saigon before coming to France in 1961 where he studied the theory and practice of Oriental music with his father, Prof.Dr. Trân Van Khê at the Center of Studies for Oriental Music in Paris.

For several years, he also attended seminars on ethnomusicology at the School of High Studies for Social Sciences (he got the MA and Ph.D degrees), and acoustics with Prof. Emile Leipp.

He plays 15 or so musical instruments from Vietnam, China, India, Iran, Indonesia and Europe.Since 1966, he has given over 3,500 concerts in 70 countries, and has taken part in nearly 200 international traditional music festivals. He has taken part in radio and television broadcasts in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. He had been working for the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France since 1968, and was attached to the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Musée de l’Homme (Paris). He was a lecturer on South East Asian music at the University of Paris X – Nanterre (1988-1995). In 2009, he retired after 41 years (1968-2009) working as a researcher of the National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France.

Apart from his artistic activities, he is also interested in musical research. He has improved the technique of spoon playing and of the Jew’s harp. In 1970 he found the key to the technique of overtone singing. The film « Le Chant des Harmoniques  » (The Song of Harmonics) which he co-produced with Hugo Zemp, and in which he was the principal actor and composer of the film music, has won four awards at international scientific film festivals in Estonia (1990), France (1990), and Canada (1991). He is considered as the greatest specialist in overtone singing in the world. He has written numerous articles on Vietnamese and Asian music (New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Algemeine Muziekencyclopedie, Encyclopaedia Universalis). He has also recorded 15 LPs and 2 CDs (one of which obtained the Grand Prix de l’Academie de Disque Charles Cros in 1983). He has composed hundreds of popular songs. His musical experience is very varied : contemporary music, electro-acoustical music, improvisation, film music. He continues to preserve and develop traditional Vietnamese music (numerous new compositions for the 16 stringed zither dàn tranh ).

He has received a Gold Medal for music from the Asian Cultural Academy, and honorary doctorates from the International University Foundation (USA), and the Albert Einstein International Academy (USA). Trân Quang Hai works with his wife Bach Yên who is a Vietnamese great folk singer. He has obtained more than 20 prizes and international awards.He was nominated President of the Jury of the Khoomei Throat Singing Festival (Tuva, 1995) He obtained the Cristal Medal of the National Center for Scientific Research (France, 1996).He was also President of Honor of the Festival d’Auch: Eclats de Voix (1999) and the Festival de Perouges / Au Fil de la Voix (2000). He was member of the Jury of the Song Contest 2000 « A Song for Peace in the World » in Roma (2000). And in June 2002, he received the medal of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French President Jacques Chirac . In 2009,he was the recipient of the Medal of Honor, category Great Gold for his 41 years as a public servant of France .

He is the only Vietnamese to have taken part as a performer or composer in such great historical events as the Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations (1988), the Bicentenary of the French Revolution in Paris (1989), the 700th Anniversary of the Birth of Switzerland (1991), the 350th Anniversary of the Founding of Montreal (1992), the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America (1992), the 600 Years of Seoul-Korea (1994), the Jubilee of the King of Thailand (1996), the 1,000 Years of Trondheim in Norway (1997).


  1. Vietnam: Tran Quang Hai & Bach Yen PLAYASOUND PS 33514,Paris 1979, col. Musiques de l’Asie Traditionnelle,vol.10.
  2. Cithare et chants populaires du Vietnam Tran Quang Hai & Bach Yen
  3. Music of Vietnam. LYRICHORD LLST 7337, New York, 1980.
  4. Vietnam/ Tran Quang Hai & Bach Yen. Studio SM 3311.97, Paris,1983.Grand Prix du Disque de l’Academie Charles Cros 1983.
  5. Vietnamese Dan Tranh Music Tran Quang Hai. LYRICHORD LLST 7375,New York, 1983.
  6. MUSAICA: chansons d’enfants des emigres. DEVA RIC 1-2,Paris,1984.

5 Compact Discs

« Reves et Realite- Tran Quang Hai & Bach Yen  » edited by Playasound PS 65020, Paris, 1988.

« Bach Yen – Souvenir « , edited by William Arthur, Los Angeles, 1994

« Cithare Vietnamienne – Tran Quang Hai », edited by Playasound PS 65103,Paris, 1993.

« Landscape of the Highlands – Tran Quang Hai », edited by Music of the World, Chapell Hill, USA, 1997.

« Les Guimbardes du Monde – Tran Quang Hai », edited by Playasound, Paris,1997.

5 commercialized cassettes on pop and folk music of Vietnam

1 videocassette on Vietnamese Music (1984)

1 videocassette « Music of Vietnam  » produced by Ministry of Education in Perth (Australia) (1989)

4 DVDs

Le Chant diphonique”, CRDP, co author : tran quang hai & luc souvet, 27 minutes, Saint Denis, Ile de la Réunion, 2002.

« Le Chant des harmoniques », CNRS Audiovisuel, co author : tran quang hai & hugo zemp, 38 minutes, (French version) Paris, 2005

« The Song of Harmonics », CNRSS Audiovisuel, co author : tran quang hai & hugo zemp, 38 minutes, (English version), Paris, 2006

“La Voix”, Lugdivine editions, author: Patrick Kersalé, with the cooperation of Tran Quang Hai, 100 minutes, Lyon, 2006.

2 films on Tran Quang Hai

“HAI : parcours d’un musician vietnamien” (HAI : path of a Vietnamese musician), author: Pierre Ravach, 52 minutes, Brussels, 2005.

« Vietnam – Musique Traditionnelle – Trân Quang Hai », author : Bùi Xuân Quang, 46 minutes, Paris , 2009

Participation to these CDs

« Voices of the World », 3 CD, booklet in French/English (188pages), edited by Le Chant du Monde, collection CNRS/Musée de l’Homme, Paris, 1996. Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1997, Le Diapason d’Or de l’Année1997, Le CHOC de l’Année 1997.

« Vietnam: Musics of the Montagnards », 2 CD, booklet in French/English (124pages), edited by Le Chant du Monde, collection CNRS/Musée de l’Homme,Paris, 1997. Le Diapason d’Or, Le CHOC

« Phillip Peris – Didjeridu » , edited by Les Cinq Planètes, Paris, 1997.

« Klangfarben der Kulturen », edited by Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, 1998.

« World Festival of Jew’s Harp in Molln », 2CDs edited by Molln Jew’s Harp Ass., Austria, 1999.

Performer of more than 3,500 concerts in 70 countries around the world since 1966.

Performer of more than 1,500 school music concerts organized by JMF (Jeunesses Musicales de France), JMB (Jeunesses Musicales de Belgique), JMS (Jeunesses Musicales de Suisse), Rikskonsertene of Norway and Sweden from 1971 to 2005

Performer at more 150 International Music Festivals.

1970: International Sound Festival, Paris, France Festival of Arts Chiraz-Persepolis, Iran.

1971: Cinq Journées de Rencontre avec le Groupe de Recherches Musicales(GRM),Paris. Indochinese Cultural Week, Geneva, Switzerland Oriental Music Festival, Berlin, Germany. Ajaccio Music Festival, Ajaccio, Corsica,France 15 Days of Folk Music with the Bourdon Folkclub, Geneva, Switzerland.

1972: Pamplona Music Festival, Pamplona, Spain « La Geolette d’or », Knokke le Zoute, Belgium Traditional Music Festival, Vesdun, France. SIGMA 8: Contemporary Music Festival, Bordeaux, France

1973: Music Festival of Royan, Royan, France. International Folk Music Festival, Le Havre, France. International Festival of Culture and Youth, Presles, France

1974: Folk Music Festival, Bezons, France International Folk Music Festival, Colombes, France Music Festival of Haut Var, Haut Var, France Musicultura, Breukelen, The Netherlands.

1975: Three Days of Folk Music, Conflans Sainte Honorine, France Vth Contemporary Music Festival, Bourges, France. « La Geolette d’Or », Knokke le Zoute, Belgium Festival of Unwritten and Traditional Music, Chélon sur Saçne, France. International Folk Festival, Olivet, France.

1976: The Spring of Present Peoples, Paris, France Summer Music Festival, Chailles, France Festival of Marais, Paris, France International Musical Days, Vernou, France. A Month of Asian Arts, Alençon, France Durham Oriental Music Festival, Durham, United Kingdom. South East Asian Music Festival, Laon, France.

1977: International Musical Days, Vernou, France World Music Festival, Berkeley, USA.

1978: International Musical Days, Vernou, France Traditional Music Festival, Lugano, Switzerland. Saint Jean Music Festivities, Dieppe, France.

1979: Durham Oriental Music Festival, Durham, United Kingdom. International Contemporary Music Festival, Clichy, France.

1980: Autum Festival, Paris, France. International Folk Music Festival, Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

1981: Asian Music Festival, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

1982: Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Kuhmo, Finland Polyphonix: Poetry and Music Festival, Paris, France.

1983: First Third World Music Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1984: Polyphonix: Poetry and Music Festival, New York, USA.(may) Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Kaustinen, Finland. (june) Vitaasarii New Music Festival, Vitaasarii, Finland. (june) Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Kuhmo, Finland. (june) Festival of World Musical Cultures, Cape Town, South Africa.(july)

1985: First World Music Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. (april) International Music Festival, Langeais, France.(june) Estival Festival, Paris, France.(july)

1986: Music Festival of Three Continents, Nice, France( june) Traditional Music Festival – North-South, Paris, France. (september) Festival of Immigrant Musics, Paris, France. (september)

1987: Polyphonix: Poetry and Music Festival, Paris, France. (april) Folk Music Festival, Ris Orangis, France. (may)

1988: First Meetings of Vocal Expressions, Abbaye de Fontevraud, France.(april) Festival of World Music, Melbourne, Australia. (200 Years of Australia) (august) Peoples Music Festival, Milan, Italy. (may) Asian Music Festival, Etampes, France.(june)

1989: Bicentennial of the French Revolution, Paris, France. (july) Intercultural Festival, Saint Herblain, France. (july)

1990: Music Festival: « Blossoming Sounds, Floating Songs », Osaka, Japan. (july) First Forum of Asian and Pacific Performing Arts, Kobe, Japan. (july) Asian Music Festival, Tamba, Japan. (july) Traditional Music Festival, Arzila, Morocco.(august) Berlin Music Festival, Berlin, Germany. (september) Vox Populi, Brussels, Belgium (october)

1991: 700 years of Switzerland, Lausanne, Switzerland. (june) Saint Denis Music Festival, Saint Denis, France. (june) String Music Festival, Berlin, Germany.(september) Vox Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (february)

1992: 4th Meetings of Polyphonic Songs, Calvi, Corsica, France. Festival around the Voice, Argenteuil, France Festival about the Spirit of Voices, Perigueux, France. Music Festival, Montreal, Canada (350 years of Montreal).

1993: Folk Music Festival / Ris Orangis, France. (may) Voice Festival, Volterra, Italy.(june)

1994: Traditional Music Festival, Azilah, Morocco (august) World Music Festival, Nantes, France. (september) First Festival and Conference of the Asian / Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology,Seoul, Korea (november)

1995: Giving Voice: A Geography of the Voice, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.(april) 2nd International Festival of Throat Singing, Kyzyl, Tuva, Russia.(june) International Festival of Choir, Musica Choralis, Luxembourg. (september)

1996: International Symposium of Vietnamese Music, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA (march) Giving Voice: An Archeology of the Voice, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom (april) Festival of Oriental Music, Les Courmettes, France (june) 4th World Symposium of Choir, Sydney, Australia (august) Stuttgarter Stimmtage 96, Stuttgart, Germany (september) International Symposium on Ethnomusicology, Minsk, Belarus.(october) 3rd International Conference and Music Festival of the Asia/Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology, Mahasarakham, Thailand.(december)

1997: International Symposium: An Archeology of the Voice, Wales.(april) International Conference of the ICTM, Nitra, Slovaquia.(june) International Symposium and World Music Festival, Cape Town,South Africa (july). Mediteria – Festival of Traditional Music, Montpellier, France (october) Festival of World Music, Montigny, France (november) International Symposium of Ethnomusicology, Vilnius, Lithuania.(december) UNESCO-International Seminar on bamboo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (december)

1998: TokkerFestival, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (february 7-8) Festival of Mediterranean Musics, Genova, Italy (march 10-12) Transcendant Asia: A Celebration of Asian Music in Europe, London, England (april 23-24) Vietnamese Spring Festival, Paris, France. (april/may) Voice Festival, Auch, France( may) 3rd International Jew’s Harp Festival, Molln, Austria.(june 22-28) Bartok Music Festival, Hungary.(july 4-11) 23rd Saint Chartier/ Rencontres Internationales de Luthiers et Maîtres Sonneurs (July 11-14) Autres Rivages/World Music Festival, Uzes, France (1-2 August) International Music Festival, Bergamo, Italy (19-20 september) Asian Music Festival, Firenza, Italy (october) International Festival of Voice, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (november)

1999: Voice Festival: Between Heaven and Earth, Chartreuse de Valbonne, France (12 march) Symposium: Culture and Mathematics, Venise, Italy (26-28 march) Voice Festival: Eclats de Voix, Auch, France (30 marsch and 29 may ) Symposium : A Divinity of the Voice, Aberystwith, Wales (1-11 april ) Festival of Voices of the World, Bruxelles, Belgique (1-5 june ) Festival Bela Bartok, Sombathely, Hongrie (14-19 july) World Conference ICTM, Hiroshima, Japon (18-24 august) Yoga International Congress, Montélimar, France (29-31 october)

2000 : SCONTRI – Festival of Corsican Culture, Paris, France (12-13 february) 2ème Congrès annuel des Professtionnels de la Voix, Enghien les Bains (26-27 february) Printemps musical de Pérouges / Au Fil de la Voix, Pérouges, France (may-june) Tanz & Folk Fest Rudolstadt 2000, Rudolstadt, Allemagne, 4-7 july) Congrès international sur l’enseignement de la voix, VASTA, Virginia, USA (6-9 august) 6th Annual CHIME Conference, Leiden, Pays-Bas (23-27 august) Festival de Voix d’homme, Bretagne, France (15-17 september) Congrès sur la Voix parlée, Stuttgart, Allemagne, (21-24 september) Annual Congress of Acousticians , Kumamoto, Japon (3-5 october) International Congress of Traditional Music, Taipei, Taiwan (6-15 october)

2001 : Symposium of Voice, Lyon, France (february) Festival of Traditional Music, Denain, France (may) City of London Festival , London, U.K. (june) Festival  » Performato « , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (july) International Festival of Choral Music, Singapore (august) Festival  » 1000 faces of Voice, France (september)

2002 : World Music Festival, Rennes, France (february) International Voice Festival, Genoa, Italy (may) 13th Vivonne World Music Festival, Vivonne, France (may) Music Day Festival, Beyrouth, Lebanon, (21 june) 6th World Symposium of Choral Music, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (august) World Festival of Jew’s Harps, Raudal, Norway (september) International Congress of Polyphony, Tbilissi, Georgia, (october)

2003 : Making New Waves Contemporary Music Festival, Budapest, Hungary (February)

International Seminar of Shamanism , Genoa, Italy (June)

Telemark Folk Music Festival, Bo, Norvay (August)

International Congress of Psychotherapy , Hannover, Germany (September)

Suoni di Mondo Festival , Bologna, Italy (November)


World Conference of the ICTM, Fushou, China (january)
International Festival « Making New Waves », Budapest, Hungary. (february)
International Congress of Musical Acoustics, Nara, Japan (april)
International Congress of Acoustics, Kyoto, Japan (april)
International Congress of Yoga, Vogüe, France (may)
3rd Festival « Le Rêve de l’Aborigène », Poitiers, France(july)
International Congress of Shamanism, University of Donau, Krems, Austria (july)
Manifestations scientifiques et musicales dans le cadre « Lille, Ville européenne culturelle 2004 , Lille, France (july)
International Seminar on Voice, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom (july)
International Symposium of Sung and Spoken Voice, Stuttgart, Germany (september)

International Festival of Avant Garde Music « Making New Waves », Budapest, Hungary (february)
International Festival of Choral Music, Arnhem, the Netherlands (april)
International Festival of Mediterranean Music, Genova, Italy (june)
Sunplash Festival of Reggae music, Italy (june)
World Conference of the ICTM, Sheffield, United Kingdom (august)
MELA Festival, Oslo, Norway (august)
1st World Festival of Marranzanu, Cantania, Sicily, Italy (september)
International Symposium of Voice, Stuttgart, Germany (september)
« 30 ans d’existence de l’Université en Haute Alsace », Mulhouse, France (october)
International Festival of Traditional Music, Limerick, Ireland (october)

Têt in Seattle, Seattle, USA (january)
2ème Rencontre sur la parole chantée, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (may)
Festival « La Semaine du Son », Châlon sur Saône, France (june)
International Seminar on Ca Trù, Hanoi, Viet Nam (june)
Festival international des Musiques sacrées, Fribourg, Switzerland (july)
5th International Jew’s Harp Festival, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (july)
MELA festival, Oslo, Norway (august)
International Meeting of the ICTM, Ljubliana, Slovenia (september)
International Congress of Applied Ethnomusicology, Ljubliana, Slovenia (september)
International Symposium of Voice, Stuttgart, Germany.(september)
International Meeting « Music as Memory », Oslo, Norway (october)
The Global Forum on Civilization and Peace, Seoul, Korea. (november)

Bilan du film ethnographique, Paris, France (march)
Voice Festival / 9th session of the ILV/ CETC, Buenos Aires, Argentina (march)
Symposium on music therapy, Sao Paulo, Brazil (april)
Bergen International Music OI OI Festival, Bergen, Norway (may-june)
Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)
39th World conference of the ICTM, Vienna, Austria (july)
PEVOC 7 – International Congress on Voice, Groningen, the Netherlands (august)
International Doromb Jew’s Harp Festival, Hungary (september)


A Week of Sound Festival, Lyon, France (january)

Unesco Congress of World Heritage, Canberra, Australia (february)

Giving Voice, Aberystwith, New Wales (march)

Bergen International Music OI OI Festival, Bergen, Norway (may/june)

Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)

« A Voix Haute » Festival,Bagnères de Bigorre, France (august)

MELA music festival, Oslo, Norway (august)

International Voice Festival, Dresden, Germany (september)


Voice Festival, Switzerland (may)

Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)

40th World conference of the ICTM, Durban, South Africa (july)

International Congress of Voice Teachers, Paris, France (july)

MELA Music Festival, Oslo, Norway (august)


Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)

International of Sound, Saint John’s, Canada (july)

ICTM 2 study groups meeting , Hanoi , Vietnam (july)

Vietnamese Guiness Record Ceremony, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, (december)


International Symposium on Dan Ca tai tu Nam bo, Ho Chi Minh city (January)

International colloquial about 400 years of the birth of Phu Yen city, Phu Yên, Vietnam (april)

World Jew’s Harp Festival in Yakutsk, Yakutia (june)

Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)

International Festival of Mediterranean Music, Genova, Italy (july)

41st World Conference ICTM in Saint John’s , Canada (july)

World Symposium of Choral Music, Puerto Madryn, Argentina (august)

Spring Festival of South African Music, Fort Hare, South Africa (september)

International Festival of Humour and Music, Stavanger, Norway (september)

Peace Festival, Wroclaw, Poland (october)


International Conference of Arirang , Seoul, Korea (december)


1st International Festival of Music Khomus « Khomusic Proms », Moscow, Russia (june)

2012 Crossroads : Contemporary of Traditional Arts, Singapore (december)


International Congress of Yoga, Voguë, France (march – april)

International meeting for the UNESCO project « Dân ca Ví Giặm Nghệ Tĩnh » (Ví Giặm Folksongs of Nghệ Tĩnh), Vinh, Vietnam (june)

International meeting about the UNESCO convention & the future of Vietnamese Intangible Cultural Heritage, Hội An, Vietnam (june)

42nd ICTM world conference , Shang Hai, China (july)

Marranzano World Festival, Catania, Sardinia, Italy (december)


The 8th Congress & International Jew’s Harp Festival, Taucha, Germany (august)

The Norwegian Jew’s harp Festival 2014, Hörten, Norway (september)

Exhibition The Voice (ornamented voice, disguised voice), City of Sciences, Paris, France, (september)

International Film Festival Jean Rouch, celebration of 20 years of Bartok prize, Paris, France (november)


International Meeting for the UNESCO project on « Nghệ thuật bài chòi dân gian Việt Nam » (the art of folk bài chòi in Vietnam), Quy Nhơn, Bình Định, Vietnam (january)

43rd ICTM World Conference, Astana, Kazakhstan (july)

Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)

International Meeting for the UNESCO project on « Hát then Tày Nùng Thái » (Folk songs of Tày Nùng Thái ethnic minorities), Tuyên Quang , Vietnam (september)

Master class di Canto Armonico, Sorso, Sardinia, Italy (october)

Khomus Day & the 25th Anniversary of the Museum of the Peoples of the World Khomus, Yakutsk, Yakutia (november – december)


International Meeting for the UNESCO project on « Văn nghiên cứu thực hành tín ngưỡng trong xã hội đương đại » (Religious Practices in Contemporary Society), Nam Định, Vietnam (january)

Symposium « Voice Encounters : Voice Pedagogy, Wroclaw, Poland (april)

Homage to Demetrio Stratos, Alberone di Cento, Italy (june)

Ancient Trance Festival, Taucha, Germany (august)



44th ICTM World Conference , Limerick, Ireland (july)

Congress « Voci e Sone « Di Dentro e di Fuori », Padova, Italy (october)

Congress La Voce Artistica 2017 XI edition, Ravenna, Italy (october)


Ethnomusicologist: Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires, Paris,1968-1987

Ethnomusicologist: Musée de l’Homme, Paris, 1968 – 2009

Professor: Centre of Studies for Oriental Music, Paris, 1970-1975.

Lecturer: Université de Paris X-Nanterre, 1987-1995.

Lecturers of many Universities and Museums in the World since 1969:

USA : University of Hawaii (1977), University of Maryland (1980), Columbia University, New York (1983), Museum of Modern Art, New York (1984), University of California, San Diego (UCSC, 1990), Cornell University, New York (1994), Saint Thomas University, Minnesota (1996), University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin (1998), George Mason University, Washington D.C.(2000)

Canada :University of Montreal, Montreal (1991), York University, Toronto (1994), University of Toronto (1994), Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (1994)

Brazil: Conservatorium of Music, Rio de Janeiro (1983), University of Recife, Recife (1998) , University of Rio de Janeiro (2006),

South Africa : Cape Town University, Cape Town (1984, 1997), Stellenbosch University (1984), University of Durban (2009), University of Fort Hare (2011)

Australia : Monash University, Melbourne (1986), University of Sydney, Sydney (1986), Western Australian University, Perth (1986, 2008), Melbourne College of Advanced Education, Melbourne (1988)

Philippines: University of the Philippines, Manila (1988)

Japan:Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Tokyo (1981), Miyagi University of Music Education, Sendai (1999), Université de Hiroshima, Hiroshima (1999), OsakaUniversity of Fine Arts, Osaka (2000)

Korea: Seoul National University, Seoul (1981),

Thailand: Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham (1996), University of Chulalongkorn, Bangkok (2012)

Taiwan : Université de Taiwan, Taipei (2000), Centre National des Arts , Taipei (2000)

Liban : CLAC (centre de lecture et d’animation culturelle) à Barja , Mansoura, Kfar Debyan, Amioun ,( 2002)

Austria : University of Austria (2007),

Belgium: Institute of Musicology, Louvain (1976), Royal Museum of Central Africa (1976), Royal Museum of Musical Instruments, Brussels (1980, 2001), University of Anvers (1984), Musee Royal de Mariemont, Mariement (2002)

Italy: Institute of Musicology, Bologna (1979), French Cultural Center, Napoli (1980),Academia Nacionale Santa Cecilia, Roma (1994), University of Roma (1994), Institute of Musicology and Linguistics, Venice (1995, 1996), University of Bologna, Bologna (2000), Institute of Musictherapry, Padova, Italy (2001,2016 ), Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (1979, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,2005,2006, 2007, 2008) , Institute IATGONG for traditional music, Genoa, (2003,2007, 2016), Conservatory of Music, Padova (2017)

The Netherlands: Jaap Kunst Center for Ethnomusicology, Amsterdam (1974),Gemeente Museum, The Haye (1980), Tropen Museum (1975, 1992, 1998), University of Leiden, Leiden (2000)

Germany: Volkerkunde Museum, Berlin (1985, 1990, 2000), La Charité Hospital, Berlin (1991), Musik Hochschole, Detmold (1994), Musik Hochschole, Stuttgart (1996, 2000, 2015), University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (1997), University of Aachen, Aachen (2003), University of Hannover (2015)

United Kingdom: Horniman Museum, London (1974), Durham University, Durham (1976, 1979, 1985), University of London, London (1991), City University, London (1992), SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), London (1998), Queen’s University, Belfast (1985), Centre of Performance Research,Cardiff (1995,1996), University of Reading, London (2005)

France: many universities in different towns from 1974 onwards: Universite de Paris IV-Sorbonne, Univeriste de Paris VIII-Saint Denis, Universite de Paris X-Nanterre, Paris; Universite de Nice; Universite deTours; University of Rennes ; Conservatoire National Régional de la musique, Strasbourg; Universite de Montpellier 3, Montpellier; Universite de Marseille; Universite Le Mirail, Toulouse, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers , Universite de la Reunion, Ile de la Reunion (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 , 2003)

Switzerland: Volkerkunde Museum, Basel (1969), Academy of Music, Basel (1993)

Spain: Summer University, Madrid (1990)

Yugoslavia: Academy of Music, Sarajevo (1991)

Sweden: Lund University, Lund (1976), Stockholm University, Stockholm (1976), Musik Museet, Stockholm (1981), Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm (1985),

Denmark: Musikhistorisk Museum, Copenhagen (1972), Danish Folk Archive Institute , Copenhagen (1972), Conservatory of music, Holstebro (1972), Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium, Holstebro (1998), Cantabile 2, Vordingborg (2000)

Norway: Institute of Musicology, Trondheim (1976,1980, 1981), University of Oslo (1979), Music Academy Sibelius, Bergen (2004), Musik Folkehogskole, Oslo (2003)

Poland : 17th Summer Course for Young Composers, Polish Society for Contemporary Music, Radziejowice, Poland (1997), University of Wroclaw, Poland, (2011, 2016)

Russia: National Conservatory Tchaikovsky, Moscow (1993), Institute of Research for World Music Cultures, Moscow (1993, 2012), International Center of Khoomei, Kyzyl, Tuva (1995).

Georgia : Conservatory of Music , Tbilissi (2002)

Lithuania: Academy of Music, Vilnius (1997)

Belarus: Academy of Music, Minsk (1996)

Slovenia : University of Ljubljana (2006, 2011)

Croatia : University of Zagreb (2006)

Ireland : University of Limerick, Limerick (2007, 2017), Cork University, Cork (2007)

Vietnam : Vietnamese Institute of Musicology, Hanoi (2002, 2017), Academy of Music , Hanoi (2017), Conservatory of Music, Ho Chi Minh city (2007)


15 LP records and 7 CDs as performer on Vietnamese Music (with different record companies: Le Chant du Monde, OCORA, Studio SM, Société Française deProductions Phonographiques, Playasound in France, Lyrichord, Music of the World in the USA, Albatros in Italy.

  1. Cithare Vietnamienne (le Dan Tranh) par Tran Quang Hai. Le Chant du Monde LDX 74454, Paris, 1971, collection Special Instrumental.
  2. Le Chant de la Rivière des Parfums. Productions et Editions Sonores PES 528 003, Paris, 1973.
  3. Vietnam: Nouvelle Musique Traditionnelle. OCORA 558 012, Paris, 1976.
  4. Musique du Vietnam: Tradition du Sud. Anthologie de la musique des Peuples AMP 72903, Paris, 1976.
  5. Musique Traditionnelle du Vietnam. Aide à l’Enfance du Vietnam AEV 01, Paris, 1976.
  6. Musica del Vietnam. Albatros Records VPA 8396, Milan, 1978.
  7. Vietnam: Tran Quang Hai et Bach Yen. Playasound PS 33514, Paris, 1979, collection: Musiques de l’Asie traditionnelle, vol.10.
  8. Cithare et Chants Populaires du Vietnam/ Tran Quang Hai et Bach Yen. Aide à l’Enfance du Vietnam AEV 02, Paris, 1979.
  9. Music of Vietnam. Lyrichord LLST 7337, New York, 1980.
  10. Vietnam/ Tran Quang Hai et Bach Yen. Studio SM 3311.97, Paris, 1983. Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1983
  11. Vietnamese Dan Tranh Music/ Tran Quang Hai. Lyrichord LLST 7375 ,New York, 1983.
  12. Shaman/Tran Quang Hai et Misha Lobko. Didjeridou Records DJD O1, Paris, 1983.
  13. MUSAICA: chansons d’enfants des émigrés. DEVA RIC 1-2, Paris, 1984.
  14. Landscape of the Highlands/ Tran Quang Hai. Music of the World MW 004, New York, 1984.
  15. Le Monde Magique du Dan Tranh/ Tran Quang Hai. Viet Productions VN 1944, Paris, 1985.
  16. CD: Rêves et Réalités – Tran Quang Hai et Bach Yen. Playasound PS 65020, Paris, 1988.
  17. CD: Cithare vietnamienne/Tran Quang Hai. Playasound PS 65103, Paris, 1993.
  18. CD: Landscape of the Highlands/String Music from Vietnam/Tran Quang Hai. Latitudes LAT 50612, North Carolina, USA, 1997.
  19. CD: Phillip Peris/Didjeridu. Les Cinq Planètes CP 10296, Paris, 1997.
  20. CD: Les Guimbardes du Monde / Tran Quang Hai. Playasound PS 66009, Paris, 1997.
  21. CD: That’s All Folk! Le Chant du Monde CML 5741015.16, 2CDs, Paris1997.
  22. CD: International Jew’s Harp Festival Molln Austria ’98, CD-0513, 2CDs, Molln, 1999.

5 commercialized cassettes on pop music of Vietnam

1 videocassette on Vietnamese Music (1984)

1 videocassette « Music of Vietnam » produced by Ministry of Education in Perth (Australia) (1989)

1 videocassette on « Tran Quang Hai performance » produced by the Melbourne College of Advanced Education in Melbourne (Australia) (1989)

1 videocassette on « Dan Tranh Music » produced by Volkerkunde Museum, Berlin (Germany) 1991.

3 DVD on overtone singing : « The Song of Harmonics » published by the CNRS Audio Visual, 38 minutes, English version, France, 2006

« Le Chant des Harmoniques » published by the CNRS Audio Visual, 38 minutes, French version, France, 2004

« Le Chant Diphonique », Université de Saint Denis, Reunion Island, 2002

2 DVD on Tran quang Hai’s musical activities : « Vietnam – musique traditionnelle Trân Quang Hai », Paris ,49 minutes,

« HAI – parcours d’un musicien vietnamien » (HAI – path of a Vietnamese musician », 52 minutes, Paris, 2015

Performer for film music in 25 commercialized films

Performer of nearly 3,500 concerts in 70 countries around the world since 1966.

5 commercialized cassettes on pop music of Vietnam


300 pop songs in Vietnamese, French, English

100 musical compositions for different musical instruments: 16 stringed zither, monochord, spoons, Jew’s harp, overtone singing.

3 compositions for electro-acoustical music (1975, 1988, 1989, see creative works)


Author of a book Âm Nhac Viêt Nam  » (Music of Vietnam in Vietnamese) , edited by Nhom Bac Dâu, 361pages, Paris, 1989.

Author of a book « Musiques du Monde » (in French), edited by J-M Fuzeau, 320 pages, 3 CD, Courlay, 1993.(with Michel Asselineau and Eugene Berel)

Author of a book « Musics of the World  » (in English), edited by J-M Fuzeau, 320pages, 3 CD, Courlay, 1994. (with Michel Asselineau and Eugene Berel)

Author of a book « Musik aus aller Welt  » (in German), edited by J-M Fuzeau, 320pages, 3 CD, Courlay, 1996. (with Michel Asselineau and Eugene Berel)

Author of a book « Musicas del Mundo » (in Spanish), edited by J-M Fuzeau, 320pages, 3 CD, Courlay, 1998. (with Michel Asselineau and Eugene Berel)

Author of a book « Musiques et Danses Traditionnelles d’Europe  » (in French), edited by J -M Fuzeau, 380pages, 2 CD, Courlay, 1995.

Author of a book (in cooperation with Patrick Kersale), VOIX , DVD, edited by Lugdivine, Lyon, 2006

Author or more than 250 articles on Vietnamese and Asian musics

Co-ordinator for New Grove’s Dictionary of Musical Instruments on South East Asian Music (1st edition, 1984) 3 volumes

Author of articles in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (6thedition, 1980, 20 volumes), Algemeine Muziekencyclopedia (Holland, 1982, 12 volumes), Encyclopaedia Universalis (France, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991)

Co-author with Hugo Zemp for the film 16mm on the overtone singing style « Le Chant des Harmoniques » (The Song of Harmonics) produced by the National Center for Scientific Research-Audio Visual, Paris, 1989)

Contributor to the bilingual notes (188pages) accompanying the 3CD set

« Voices of the World » edited by Le Chant du Monde, Paris, 1996

Contributor to the bilingual notes (124pages) accompanying the 2CD set « Vietnam: Musics of the Montagnards  » edited by Le Chant du Monde, Paris,1997.

Researcher specializing in Vietnamese Music, South East Asian Music, Overtone Singing Style, Music Therapy, Music Pedagogy, Creation of NewTechniques for Vietnamese 16 stringed zither, Jew’s Harps, Spoons.

Author of more than 500 articles in Vietnamese for 30 Vietnamese magazines in America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Memberships in different Scientific Societies

Society for Ethnomusicology, USA, since 1969.

Society for Asian Music, USA, since 1978.

International Council for Traditional Music, USA, since 1976 (Liaison Officer since 1991)

International Musicological Society, Switzerland, since 1977.

International Association of Sound Archives, Australia, since 1978.

European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, Switzerland, since 1983

Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie, France, since 1985 (founding member)

Société de Musicologie, France, since 1980.

Association Française d’Archives Sonores, France, since 1979.

Centre of Studies for Oriental Music, France, since 1962 (Professor from 1970 to 1975)

Vietnamese Penclub in Europe, France, since 1987.

Center of Vietnamese Studies, France, since 1987

Association Française de Recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est, France, since 1983.

Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de la Musique (SACEM), Paris, since 1983.

International Center of Khoomei, Tuva, Russia, since 1995.

Honorary Member of the Scientific Society of Vietnamese Professionals, Canada, since 1992.

Life Fellow, International Adviser, Deputy Governor of the American Biographical Institute and Research Association, USA, since 1987.

Life Fellow, International Adviser, Director Deputy General of the International Biographical Association, United Kingdom, since 1987.

Consultant of the Prize Diderot for the Encyclopaedia Universalis, France, since 1990.

Board Committee of the International Association of Jew’s Harp, Austria, since 1998.<


300 pop songs in Vietnamese, French, English

100 musical compositions for different musical instruments: 16 stringed zither, monochord, spoons, Jew’s harp, overtone singing.

3 compositions for electro-acoustical music (1975, 1988, 1989, see creative works)

Biographical Reference Books:

  1. Dictionary of International Biography, 15th edition, United Kingdom
  2. Men of Achievements, 5th, 6th, 7th editions, United Kingdom.
  3. International Who’s Who in Community Service, 3rd edition, United Kingdom
  4. International Who’s Who in Music, 8th,9th,10th,11th,12th,13th,14th,15th,16th,17th, 18th editons, since 1982,U.K.
  5. Who’s Who in Europe, 2nd, 3rd editions, U.K.
  6. Men and Women in Distinction, 1st, 2nd editions, U.K.
  7. International Register of Profiles, 4th, 5th editions, U.K.
  8. International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, 2nd, 3rd editions, U.K.
  9. The First Five Hundreds, 1st edition, U.K.
  10. Who’s Who in the World, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th,

15th,16th, 17th, 18th editions, since 1983,USA

  1. 5000 Personalities in the World, 1st edition, USA
  2. International Directory of Distinguished Leadership, 1st edition, USA
  3. International Book of Honor, 1st edition, USA
  4. International Register of Personalities, 1st edition, USA
  5. Nouveau Dictionnaire Européen, 5th,6th,7th,8th,9th editions,1985,BELGIUM
  6. Who’s Who in International Art, 1st edition, 1989, SWITZERLAND
  7. Who’s Who in France, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33th, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th,etc.. editions,since 1997,FRANCE
  8. Who’s Who in Entertainment, 3rd edition, 1998-1999,U.K.
  9. Who’s Who in Popular Music, 2nd edition, 1998, U.K.
  10. Ve Vang Dan Viet – The Pride of the Vietnamese, vol.1, 1st, 2nd editions, 1993, USA
  11. Fils et Filles du Vietnam, 1st edition, 1997, USA
  12. Tuyên Tâp Nghê Si (Selection of Vietnamese Artists), vol. 1, 1st edition, 1995, CANADA
  13. Guide du Show Business, from 20th to 40 th editions (since 1983), FRANCE
  14. Director Deputy General List of Honour, 1998, U.K.
  15. The Europe 500 Leaders for the New Century, Barons Who’s Who, Etats-Unis(2000)
  16. QUID (since 2000), France
  17. 500 Great Minds of the Early 21st Century, Bibliotheque World Wide, Etats-Unis (2002)

Prizes, Honours, Awards:

1983: Grand Prize of Academy Charles Cros, Paris for LP « Vietnam/Tran Quang Hai and Bach Yen (SM 3011.97) 1986: Medaille d’Or de la Musique (Gold Medal of Music) / Asian Cultural Academy, Paris. 1987: D.MUS (HON) / International University Foundation, USA. 1987: Life Fellow of the American Biograhical Institute and Research Association, USA. 1987: Deputy Governor (DG) of the American Biographical Institute, USA 1987: Life Fellow of the International Biographical Centre (IBC), UK 1987: Director Deputy General (DDG) of the International Biographical Centre, UK. 1988: International Advisor of the American Biographical Institute, USA 1988: International Order of Merit/ International Biographical Centre, UK 1989: Ph.D (HON) / Albert Einstein International Academy Foundation, USA. 1990: Grand Prize of the International Festival of Anthropological and Visual Film for the film « The Song of Harmonics », Parnü,Estonia. 1990: Prize of the Best Ethnomusicological Film for the film « The Song of Harmonics » delivered by the Academy of Sciences, Parnü, Estonia. 1990: Special Research Prize of the International Festival of Scientific Film for the film « The Song of Harmonics », Palaiseau, France. 1991: Grand Prize Northern Telecom of the 2nd International Festival of Scientific Film of Quebec for the film « The Song of Harmonics », Montreal, Canada. 1991: Van Laurens Award of the British Voice Association and the Ferens Institute for the best paper on overtone singing research , London, UK 1991: Honorary International Advisor of the International Biographical Centre, UK 1991: Alfred Nobel Medal of the Albert Einstein Academy Foundation, USA. 1991: Man of the Year 1991/ American Biographical Institute, USA 1991: International Man of the Year 1991/1992/ International Biographical Centre, UK 1992: Honorary Member of the Vietnamese Scientific Society of the Professionals, Canada 1994: Man of the Year / American Biographical Institute, USA 1994 : Gold Record of Achievement par American Biographical Institute, Etats-Unis 1995: Special Prize of the 2nd International Festival of Throat Voice, Kyzyl, Tuva. 1995: Honorary Scientific Member of the International Center of Khoomei, Kyzyl, Tuva. 1996: Medal of Cristal / National Center for Scientific Research, Paris, France. 1997: Prize of the Academy of Records Charles Cros for the CDs Voices of the World (collective work), Paris, France 1997: Le Diapason d’Or of the Year for the CDs Voices of the World (collective work), Paris, France. 1997: Le CHOC of the Year for the CDs Voices of the World (collective work), Paris, France. 1998: The Medal of Honor/ City Hall of Limeil Brevannes, France. 1998 : The Platinum Record for Special Performance in Music and Overtone Singing, USA 1998 : Special Prize of Jew’s Harp , 3rd World Jew’s Harp Festival, Molln, Austria 2002 : Highest Distinction of France : Knight of the Legion of Honor (Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur), Medal of Honor, category Great Gold (Médaille d’Honneur du Travail, catégorie Grand Or), France, 2009, Diploma of Distinguished Jew’s harp player, Yakutsk, Yakutia, 2015, Medal of the Founding Member of the French Society for Ethnomusicology, Paris, France, 2017.

Other relevant informations

Tran Quang Hai is the first Vietnamese musician who performed at special events: Bicentennial of Australia in Melbourne (1988), Bicentennial of the French Revolution in Paris (1989), 700 Years of Switzerland in Lausanne (1991), 350 Years of Montreal in Montreal, Canada (1992), 500 Years of Christophe Columbus’ Discovery of America in Paris (1992), 600 Years of Seoul in Seoul, Korea (1994), Jubilee of the King of Thailand in Mahasarakham, Thailand (1996), 1000 Years of Trondheim in Norway (1997).

He is the first Vietnamese musician who performed different works composed by contemporary composers such as Nguyên Van Tuong (died in 1996), Bernard Parmegiani, Nicolas Frize, Yves Herwan Chotard, and also film music composed by Vladimir Cosma, Philippe Sarde, Maurice Jarre, Gabriel Yared, Jean Claude Petit.

He practises 15 musical instruments belonging to Europe (violin, guitar, banjo, mandoline, flute), Vietnam (zither dan tranh, monochord dan doc huyen, 2 stringed fiddle dan co, coin clappers sinh tien, spoons muong, ),China (2 stringed fiddle nan hu), India (lutes tampura, vina) Iran (drum zarb), European and Asian Jew’s Harps.

His research on overtones since 1969 has given him the title of the- greatest specialist of overtone singing with more than 8000 persons who have learnt this peculiar vocal style with him from 70 countries around the world. He got the Cristal Medal of the National Center for Scientific Research in 1996 for his research on overtones, and the recipient  » Knight of the Legion of Honor  » given by the French President Jacques Chirac in 2002 for his career as musician and musicologist since 1966 , the Medal of Work, Great Gold category in 2009 for his 41 years’ career at the National Center for Scientific Research, the Diploma of Vietnamese Guiness Book 2010 for the title “KING OF SPOONS” in 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the Diploma of Vietnamese Guiness Book 2012 for the title « Trần Quang Hải has presented the Vietnamese Jew’s harp in the biggest number of countries in the world », the medal of the founding member of the French Society for Ethnomusicology, Paris in 2017.

CONTACT: TRAN QUANG HAI 12 rue Gutenberg 94450 LIMEIL BREVANNES France Tel : +33 1 45 69 55 77 (overseas),

Mobile : + 33 6 50 25 73 67



Blogs : , ,



TRAN QUANG HAI’s interview : « Igranje na kreditno kartico in ukradene žlice » Dnevnik

TRAN QUANG HAI’s interview : « Igranje na kreditno kartico in ukradene žlice » Dnevnik

Uploaded on Aug 31, 2011

The newspaper DNEVNIK made a video interview with TRAN QUANG HAI during the 4th International Symposium of the Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, organized by Prof.Dr. Svanibor Pettan, 25th – 28th August, 2011. He showed his art of playing the spoons, the Vietnamese Jew’s harp đàn môi, the credit card as the Jew’s harp and the overtone singing.
The written interview can be found at this link:…

TRẦN QUANG HẢI trả lời phỏng vấn của báo DNEVNIK xứ SLOVENIA, 26.08.2011

The National newspaper DNEVNIK of SLOVENIA made a video interview with TRAN QUANG HAI to accompany an article published on August 26, 2011 before his concert « TRAN QUANG HAI Z GOSTI » in the framework of Festival « NIGHTS IN LJUBLJANA OLD TOWN » (NOCI V STARI LJUBLJANA) on August 26, 2011

CARA GIAIMO : Mysterious Stone Instruments Keep Being Discovered in Vietnam

The country has embraced dàn đá’, but no one is quite sure of its exact history.

An ancient đàn đá at the Vietnamese Institute of Musicology in Hanoi.

An ancient đàn đá at the Vietnamese Institute of Musicology in Hanoi. Mike Adcock

In April of 2015, farmer Pham Dinh Huyen of Quang Binh, Vietnam set to work on his new fishpond. He had barely started digging when his shovel hit a rock. He pried it out and put it aside, but then he hit another, and another. Eventually, he had 20—large, oblong slabs of various sizes, some of them pointed at the ends.

So he did what you do when, in Vietnam, you find a bunch of weird rocks all together—he hit each one with the flat of his shovel, and listened. And lo and behold, they rang out clearly, in varying tones. He called his local museum, and they confirmed his suspicions—Huyen’s future fishpond was a musical graveyard. He had dug up one of Vietnam’s many ancient lithophones.

Rocks, to most of us, seem cold, inert, and boring. Across time and all over the globe, though, people have taken them and made them sing. The lithophone—a set of ringing stones carved and arranged to allow for musical performance—can be found everywhere from Scandinavia to Indonesia, says Mike Adcock, a musician and lithophone enthusiast who has spent years compiling a book on the subject. In Argentina, they’re carved out of quartz; in Namibia, pounded into large boulders. Some researchers even think Stonehenge is a giant lithophone.

Is Stonehenge just a giant upright stone xylophone?
Is Stonehenge just a giant upright stone xylophone? Nedarb/Public Domain

In Vietnam, they’re called đàn đá’. Most are chunks of volcanic rock or of schist, a kind of layered slate, that have been carved into a more sonorous shape. Experts think they date back anywhere from 3000 to 10,000 years—younger than the pan pipe, but older than anything with strings. As more and more pop up all over Vietnam, archaeologists attempt to solve the many mysteries that dog them, and musicians figure out how to add their unique tones to an already-rich folk tradition.

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The first đàn đá discovery occured in 1949, when a group of construction workers in the Central Highlands dug up eleven stone slabs. The stones were vertically oriented and huddled together, and word of the strange find soon spread to a nearby town, Ndut Lien Krak, where ethnologist Georges Condominas was living and working. As Adcock describes in a recent paper, Condominas was drinking rice beer with some friends when they got to talking about the stones, and, intrigued, he asked to go see them. He obtained permission to bring them with him back to France, where he sent them to the Musée de l’Homme.

Archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists puzzled over the stones, until someone decided to put them in order from largest to smallest, and lay them over a pair of supports, like a xylophone. “It immediately became apparent…that this was undoubtedly a musical instrument,” New Scientist wrote in 1957. “It was possible to play tunes on them ranging from a simplified version of Claire de Lune to Pop Goes the Weasel.” The markings on them were identified as remnants of the tuning process.

This initial đàn đá is, like so many colonial-era artifacts, still in Paris. But since its identification, more and more have turned up. Experts seek them out on archaeological digs, but laypeople also find them while planting yams and, like Huyen, building fishponds. A musician named Pham Van Phuong, who actively seeks them, has found five separate sets in one stream, and other amateurs go out đàn đá-hunting in their spare time, the way New Englanders look for arrowheads.”It’s like people lugging around metal detectors,” Adcock says. “Everyone wants to go out and find something really genuine and discover it.”

This discovery is, in some ways, the easy part. Much harder is looking back in time and trying to figure out who used the stones, and exactly what for. Some minority groups in Vietnam have long kept ringing stones to scare animals and birds away from crops—but these are structured as wind chimes or hanging gongs, different from the lithophones, which are often found laid out and accompanied by mallets. Other clues come from comparing the tones available in đàn đá to those of better-known ancient musical traditions, like Javanese gamelan music. It’s possible that ancient emigrates to Vietnam held these scales and songs in their heads, and sought to recreate them with the materials of their new environment.

But it’s difficult to know for sure. “One of the things about instruments is there’s very little evidence,” says Adcock. “You can see rock paintings, and there’s no doubt that’s a picture of a bison.” But for most of human history, music was lost to time as soon as it was made: “We’ve got nothing to go on except circumstantial evidence, and markings on a stone.”

This hasn’t stopped people from embracing this new old tradition. Folk musicians have incorporated the đàn đá into tunes and styles that didn’t originally include it, playing fast and melodious, rather than ringing and repetitive. “They’re creating a revival, rather than recreating one,” says Adcock. Newly built, portable dàn đá can be found in instrument shops across the country. One enthusiast in Ho Chi Minh City has built a giant twelve-stone lithophone, tuned just like a piano. He keeps it in his office, at a luxury toilet engineering firm, and plays it for guests.

Not everyone is convinced that the đàn đá’s deserves this place in the pantheon. The specimen at the Musée de l’Homme came with its own skeptic, Fritz A. Kuttner, a musicologist who maintained for decades that it wasn’t an instrument at all. “Any long and fairly thin stones will emit some kind of sound,” he wrote in 1953. “To qualify as lithophones… shaped stones have to show some evidence, not just of shaping, but of acoustical and mathematical knowledge and skills.” Because the stones are not tuned to any known tone system, Kuttner argues, they shouldn’t make the cut. Other modern Western scholars, like anthropologist Roger Blench, have told Adcock that the đàn đá’s utilitarian role as a crop protection device disqualifies it from ancient instrument status. Adcock rebuffs this, saying these critics are hamstrung by reliance on conservative, Western-centric definitions of music.

Granted, Adcock says, some of the discoveries are hard to swallow. People have claimed to find hundreds of stones at once, which Adcock says is unlikely. Phan Tri Dung, the luxury toilet engineer from Ho Chi Minh City, claims his instrument is a re-creation rather than an invention, and that it’s proof that ancient Vietnamese music was built around the Western scale, against the conclusions of most of the country’s musicologists. Although his instrument is amazing, Adcock says, his conclusions are probably not accurate. A certain number of the many finds likely fall under this category.

Phan Tri Dung plays his controversial lithophone in his office in Ho Chi Minh City.
Phan Tri Dung plays his controversial lithophone in his office in Ho Chi Minh City. Mike Adcock

Others, though, are rock solid. Experts in Vietnam have authenticated at least 200 different stones over the past few decades, and some now reside in museums and shops. Others have been sold to collectors and historians, who, by comparing different instruments and keeping careful track of their pedigrees, can draw new conclusions about their origin and evolution.

Adcock himself has not learned how to authenticate individual instruments. But he is most convinced by the argument from human nature, both compelling and difficult to prove—that everyone who has access to a noisemaker eventually wants to experiment with it. “I think we can assume that people who are making sound, that they would have been making whatever equivalent to music there was at that time,” he says. “Why wouldn’t they have? It’s fun.” He should know—since beginning to study lithophones, he has started a band, carving his own instruments out of roof slate. Someday, someone will dig one of them up and wonder what he was thinking.

Conservation of Vietnamese Local Music

Conservation of Vietnamese Local Music

Published on Oct 14, 2015

Conservation of Vietnamese Local Music
Associate Professor Dr. Le Van Toan
Vietnam National Academy of Music, Vietnam Institute of Musicology, VIETNAM

การประชุมวิชาการ นานาชาติ การแสดงพื้นบ้านในอาเซียน
The Folk Performing Arts in ASEAN
เฉลิมพระเกียรติสมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดาฯ สยามบรมราชกุมารี ในโอกาสฉลองพระชนมายุ 5 รอบ 2 เมษายน 2558
4-6 กันยายน 2558

TRAN QUANG HAI : A Few Souvenirs with my Master Gilbert ROUGET, in Bulletin of the ICTM , october 2016

A Few Souvenirs With My Master Gilbert Rouget


by Trn Quang Hi

I was lucky for having been trained by Gilbert Rouget between 1962 and 1964 in the introductory courses in ethnomusicology at the Institute of Ethnology in Paris.

In 1968, Mr. Rouget created the “RCP 165” at the CNRS. He hired me as his technical collaborator in the field of proto-Indochinese musics of Vietnam.

Thanks to him, one year later I discovered Mongolian overtone singing among the recordings made by Roberte Hamayon. This discovery encouraged me to do thorough research on this method of singing with two simultaneous voices. This led to a 47‐year continuous research project, resulting in several awards, in particular the Medal of Crystal from the CNRS in 1995, and the Legion of Honour award in 2002.

In 1984, Mr. Rouget asked me to transcribe his recordings from a repertoire of songs of the Queens of Porto Novo (Republic of Benin, formerly Dahomey). It was a titanic work consisting of two years of musical transcriptions and 14 years of heated debates with Mr. Rouget, resulting in the publication in 1996 of a book titled An African King and His Court Music, which earned the “Grand Prix du Disque” in the category of musical literature from the Académie Charles Cros.

This rich collaboration has been precious for my education in ethnomusicology: detailed work, patience without nervousness, and transcription method for nontempered traditional music.

During my posting at the Department of Ethnomusicology (41 years from 1968 to 2009), I had the chance to participate in numerous publications, among those a very beautiful box of three CDs Voices of the World that we offered Mr. Rouget for his 80th birthday.

Thus, 20 years have gone by… After my retirement in 2009, I have continued to see Mr. Rouget in his apartment in Paris several times a year, to show him how intensely I always think of him, and how deeply I truly love him as my spiritual father.

rouget-et-tran-quang-hai-hommage-a-rouget-pour-ses-100-ans.jpg nho.jpg

Trn Quang Hi with Gilbert Rouget, during Rouget’s 100th birthday celebration.

Photo provided by Trn Quang Hi.

No. 132, October 2016
ISSN (Online): 2304-4039

Bulletin of the ICTM Vol. 132 (October 2016)


TRAN QUANG HAI will participate in the 12th International Voice Symposium in Salzburg 2016. (a paper, a performance, and a workshop), Salzburg, Austria, 26-28 August 2016

TRAN QUANG HAI will participate in the 12th International Voice Symposium in Salzburg 2016. (a paper, a performance, and a workshop), Salzburg, Austria, 26-28 August 2016

TRẦN QUANG HẢI tham dự hội nghị quốc tế lần thứ 12 về Giọng tại tỉnh Salzburg, Áo quốc, từ 26 tới 28 tháng 8, 2016

voice symposium 2016 salzburg austria

Brain &Voice : 12th International Voice Symposium Salzburg, AUSTRIA

Friday, 26 August – Sunday 28 August 2016

Saturday , August 27th 2016
08.00 – 08.15
Opening Ceremony, Overtone Performance: Tran Quang Hai and Anna-Maria Hefele
Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler President of Salzburg Festival, Prof. Dr. Robert Thayer Sataloff,
Marianne Spiecker-Henke, Josef Schlömicher-Thier

Sunday , August 28th 2016
10.15 – 11.00
Round Table
Neuro-physiologic and Emotional Aspects of Voicing, Chairperson: Krzysztof Izdebski
Philippe Dejonckere,
The Physiology of Inspiratory Singing
Tran Quang Hai,
Overtones and Undertones in Mongolian Throat Singing
Anna-Maria Hefele
„Sound and Formant Movement in Western Overtone Singing Technique“
Krzysztof Izdebski,
Spasmodic Dysphonia: Diagnosis, Treatment Options and Problems: Review of nearly 1000 cases

12.10 – 12.55
Tran Quang Hai and Anna-Maria Hefele, Jew’s harp playing and Overtone singing

20 year Anniversary Austrian Voice Institute

12th International Voice Symposium Salzburg 2016
Brain & Voice
Keynotes – Panels – Workshops – Free Papers
26 – 28th of August 2016


Honorary President
Marianne Spiecker-Henke & Robert Thayer Sataloff
Honorary Board
Vesselina Kasarova, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Markus
Hinterhäuser, Michael Schade, Peter Simonischek
Antoinette am Zehnhoff-Dinnesen
– Union of the European Phoniatricians (UEP)
Markus Hess
– Collegium Medicorum Theatri, Pan European Voice Conference
Manuel Pais-Clemente,
World Voice Consortium (WVC)
Krzysztof Izdebski
– Pacific Voice and Speech Foundation (PVSF)
Christiane Neuschaefer-Rube
– European Academy of Phoniatrics (EAP)
Heinrich Schmidinger
– Rektor Paris Lodron Universität
Hans Edmund Eckel
– Österreichische HNO-Gesellschaft
Scientific Coordination: Markus Hess
Preliminary Faculty:
Abitbol Jean (F), Bernatzky Günther (A), Bohlender
Jörg Edgar (CH), Brehmer Detlef (D), Chavez Eugenia (MEX), Cukic Ognjen (SRB), Denizioglu Ilter (TR)
Dejonckere Philippe (B), Diaz Mario (A) G, Fisch-bacher Arno (A),Fussi Franco (I),aki Hermina (GR), Georgiou Sofia (GR),
Grooten Heleen (NL), Haupt Evamarie (D), Hadzibegovic Ana Danic (HR),Hefele Anna-Maria (D), Herrmann Ingo (D),
Hess Markus (D), Izdebski Kryzsztof (USA), Kirchner Barbara (A),Kirchner Bodo (A), Kleber Boris (D),
Koutsoumpaki Elpida (GR), Lackner Rudolf (A), Lieberman Jacob (UK), Lindestad Per Åke (S), Michel Florian (D),
Neumann Katrin (D), Osipenko Ekaterina (RUS),
Popeil Lisa (USA), Richter Bernhard (D), Rubin John (GB), Sataloff Bob (USA), Schlömicher-Thier Josef (A),
Spahn Claudia (D), Tran Quang Hai (F), Verdolini
Abbot Katherine (USA), Weikert Matthias (D),
Wohlt Gerrith (D), Woo Peak (USA), Zalvan Craig (USA)
Konferenzzentrum Heffterhof Salzburg
1 – 7, 5020
Salzburg, Austria
congress language: english
Info / Registration / Call for Papers:

Photo de Tran Quang Hai.
Photo de Tran Quang Hai.
Photo de Tran Quang Hai.
Dr. JOSEF SCHLÖMICHER THIER (organizer of the Symposium)
Photo de Tran Quang Hai.
Photo de Tran Quang Hai.

TRAN QUANG HAI ‘s performance at Ancient Trance Festival , TAUCHA, GERMANY, August 13th 2016


TRAN QUANG HAI at ANCIENT TRANCE FESTIVAL during his performance on Saturday August 13th 2016, TAUCHA, GERMANY, 13rd August 2016 .
TRẦN QUANG HẢI trình diễn tại lễ hội Ancient Trance Festival ngày 13 tháng 8, 2016, TAUCHA, ĐỨC,
Many thanks to Barbara Kolditz and Axel Hebenstreit for beautiful pictures .

TRAN QUANG HAI : Teaching Asian Traditional Music Through School Concert in Europe


Trân Quang Hai

Since 1966 I have given more than 1500 school concerts in Europe for
children from three to sixteen years old. My school concert tours have been
proposed and organized by various official organizations, such as Jeunesses
Musicales de France, Jeunesses Musicales de Belgique, Jeunesses Musicales
de Suisse and Rikskonsertene (Norway).
In Norway, the Rikskonsertene organizes 5000 school concerts per year. This
organization invites musicians specializing in various styles, such as
classical music, pop, rock, jazz and traditional musics, to perform their
music for children. I worked for Rikskonsertene from 1977 until 1983, each
year for a three-week tour with two concerts per day. Teachers and pupils
of the schools I visited were prepared before my arrival through a booklet with
photos, explanations on history and geography and short comments on
Vietnamese music and the musical instruments I performed.
The Jeunesses Musicales de ßelgique and the Jeunesses Musicales de Suisse
prepare the school concert tours in the same way as the Rikskonsertene. The
difference remains in the fact that I always had a guide from the
organization to be with me during the tour. His rôle was to present me to
the headmasters or other responsible persons of schools where concerts took
place and to give a short introduction about my musical activities and my
music to the pupils before each concert. Most of these concerts are held at
the gymnasium of the respective schools for an audience of about 100
children of the same age.
In France there are two systems of organizing school concerts : one inside
and one outside the schools. The concerts inside schools are organized by
the Association Départementale pour Initiation et Animation de la Musique
(ADIAM) and the Association Départementale pour le Développement de
l’Initiation Musicale (ADDIM). Such concerts are organized for three to
four classes (80 to 100 children) at a time. As the financial budget is
restricted, the number of school concerts is less than the one offered by
the Jeunesses Musicales de France. The musical impact on the children,
however, is important.
Concerts proposed by Jeunesses Musicales de France are organized for school
children in a theatre or a concert hall for ten to twenty classes (250 to
500 children) at a time. According to the contract, I am commissioned for
three concerts per day, which means an audience of 1000 to 1500 kids
altogether on one day. Each concert tour is organized in one region, and in
every region there is someone responsible for sending to school headmasters
and mayors of various towns in any particular area information concerning
the music I shall perform. For every concert children are transported by bus from schools in different towns and villages to the concert hall.
The impact on the children is not great.  In a large concert hall it is difficult
to hold  their attention, and the less familiar the music is to them, the more
do they tend to lose interest.

Method of presentation

My contact with various European musical styles, such as folk music (1),
popular music (2), jazz and electro-acoustical music (3), in addition to
Western classical music, have helped me to understand the European people
and to communicate with them when I perform music in general. Moreover, I
have had occasions to teach at many universities, and these teaching
experiences improved my personal method of performing Asian music to
European audience.
After 28 years of giving school concerts in Europe, I can summarize my
teaching method along three criteria: progression 1) from the familiar
to the unfamiliar, 2) from the easy to the difficult and 3) from the
concrete to the abstract. During my school concerts in Europe I always give
short explanations to children before playing any music. For the Jew’s harp
example, I show the European children first the European Jew’s harp, which
they are familiar with. Then I show them the Asian Jew’s harp made of
bamboo; this instrument is unfamiliar to them. Then I give a short
demonstration of how to produce sounds with the European Jew’s harp. For
progressing from the easy to the difficult , I produce isolated overtone
sounds on the fundamental sound first (the fundamental sound is the sound
obtained when you pluck the lamella of the Jew’s harp which vibrates inside
of the mouth cavity without modifying the mouth shape). Then, I play
rhythms, create a melody and make sound effects. In going from the concrete
to the abstract, I play a European melody, for example, which the children
are familiar with and then transform the Jew’s harp into a talking
instrument sounding like a robot voice .
The same method is applicable to playing spoons. Showing the European
technique of playing spoons first and then the Asian technique is
the familiar to the unfamiliar. Hitting the spoons on the
thigh, then showing how to scrape them along the fingers to create a sound
of scrapers, and finally resonating a melody in the mouth by hitting the
spoons against the chin are different steps of spoons techniques from the
easy to the difficult. Making rhythm and melody sound like a synthetizer is
reaching the abstract. For a vocal demonstration, I begin with the bel
canto, the familiar, and contrast it with Chinese falsetto voice, the
unfamiliar. Then I use the chest voice as it is used in the European
operatic style, the easy, and show the voice-change from chest to throat,
nose and head, the difficult, as it is used in Japanese puppet theatre. I
also demonstrate the normal voice, the concrete, in contrast with the
diphonic voice (overtone singing), the abstract.
My concerts for children are conceived for 40 minutes with 20 items ranging
from ordinary, simple instruments to complex, authentic musical
instruments, such as the sixteen stringed zither dàn tranh , the Chinese
two stringed fiddle nan hu and the Iranian drum zarb . I sing folk songs,
including lullabies, work songs and love songs, which children can join by
singing the chorus part with some easy syllables.
How to present the unfamiliar music to European children to catch their
attention, this is the pedagogy of teaching music for children. The key of
success is to make children laugh during the concert and at the same time
make them learn many things. I transform my concerts into “entertainment
shows”. Thus children learn music with joy and interest.
During my career as music teacher and performer, I have had many good
results as is proved by press reviews and commentaries from teachers after
the concerts. I think that European children can accept all kinds of music
if the performer is a good teacher , a refined musician and an experienced

1. I was a founding member of the first French folkclub, Le Bourdon,
created in Paris in 1969.
2. I have composed more than 200 songs.
3. I studied this music in 1965-66 and composed some works which have been
performed in France and other European countries.
4. I have always asked teachers to write thir impressions in a book I
brought with me during my trips. I have now 52 books with many thousands of
positive commentaries from teachers.


Music of the World
A Teacher’s Guide and Pupil’s Workbook

Trân Quang Hai

Music of the World is a package consisting of a teacher’s guide (320p), a
pupil’s workbood (48p) and three CDs or three cassettes with music examples
from the five continents. This material was written and compiled by Trân
Quang Hai (musicologist), Michel Asselineau (editor) and Eugène Bérel
(musicologist and co-editor). It has been published in Courlay, France, by
J.M. Fuzeau Publishers in 1994. (1). In 1993, this publication came out in
French. In 1994, it was released in English. In 1995, it is translated into
German and Spanish.
The material has been developed for use in teaching traditional music of
the world at the teenager’s level in primary and secondary schools. The aim
is to give students and children an appreciation for the extraordinary
diversity of human creativity and productivity and to make them able to
understand unfamiliar musical cultures and modes of expression.
Two CDs or cassettes comprise almost two hours and thirty minutes of sound
sequences organized aound four areas : human voice, percussions, wind
instruments and string instruments. The teacher’s guide, which suggests
teaching method and content, contains detailed information on the 71
musical examples from the world over. Particular emphasis is placed on the
geographical context, anecdotes and technical aspects of musical
production, such as the instruments, their families, methods, tonalities
and systems used. This guide is also accompanied by a table clearly showing
themes which each user can draw on depending on his or her own needs.
The pupil’s workbook contains numerous precise and varied questions to help
the student to explore the aspects covered by the teacher. The third CD or
cassette contains all the sound tests in conjunction with the pupil’s
Within two years (1993-1995) this book Music of the World has been edited
in 4 languages (French, English, German, Spanish). It is an important and
useful tool for studying traditional music and for understanding various
musical traditions in the world without being an expert of music. This is
the aim of this publication.


Trân Quang Hai is part of the fifth generation of traditional musicians in
Vietnam and has learned traditional Vietnamese music orally from his
father, Trân Van Khê, a well-known musician and musicologist. Trân Quang
Hai has also studied Western music at the National Conservatory of Music in
Saigon to become a violinist. He then studied musicology, ethnomusicology
and Oriental music in Paris before taking up his present post as researcher
of Asian music in the Music Department of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris
since 1968.