Tai tu Music Festival 2016 opens in Bac Lieu

Tuesday, 2016-09-13 11:20:41
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At the opening ceremony
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NDO – The 2016 Tai Tu Music Festival officially opened at Hung Vuong Square in the southern city of Bac Lieu on September 12.

Themed ‘Discovering the Southern Land,’ the event is part of the Mekong Delta city’s cultural activities to celebrate National Tourism 2016.

During the opening ceremony, artists from the Cao Van Lau Reform Theatre performed the popular song Da co hoai lang (“Night Drumbeats Provoke Longing for an Absent Husband”).

The song, written in 1919 by well-known composer Cao Van Lau, a native of the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, tells of the love, anguish and pride of a young woman awaiting her husband’s return from the battlefield.

During the three-day event, artists from dozens of art troupes in the region will also perform hundreds of songs and pieces of instrumental music.

Don ca tai tu, an indispensable part of the cultural heritage of Vietnam’s southerners, emerged at the end of the 19th Century as a mixture of ceremonial singing, nha nhac (the music of the royal court in Hue) and folk music.

A don ca tai tu orchestra is often made up of a group of young friends or neighbours who get together after work to practise. Amateur singers are usually accompanied by string and percussion instruments, including dan co (a two-stringed fiddle), dan tranh (a sixteen-stringed zither) and dan bau (a monochord).

The genre is improvisational, with the musicians playing with basic tunes, learnt by heart, and varying the “skeletal melody” and rhythmic patterns of the pieces.

Don ca tai tu was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humankind by UNESCO in 2013.