Trà Vinh’s lithophones set national record

May, 09/2022 - 08:12

With a set of 30 lithophones, Trà Vinh Province has set a new record by having the most stone instruments at one place.


Musicians play the stone instruments at the Trà Vinh Square during celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of the province. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Trà Vinh Province has set a new record for having a collection of the highest number of stone musical instruments -- a set of 30 lithophones.

This has been recognised by the Việt Nam Record Organisation (Vietkings).

The lithophone set, called “Âm Vang Khát Vọng Trà Vinh” (Echo of Trà Vinh's Aspirations), was placed at the provincial square last week to celebrate 30 years of the province's re-establishment.

Created by musician - record holder Trương Đình Chiếu, each lithophone weighs five tonnes, with 16 stone bars of different thickness and length.

Many years ago, Chiếu discovered many pieces of rocks that were struck to produce musical notes in the area of Bù Đăng District, Bình Phước Province.

Since then, he has researched and crafted many sets of lithophones, and presented them to various institutions nationwide with the aim to preserve and spread the intangible cultural values ​​of the country.

The total cost of those lithophones is about VNĐ6 billion (US$261,000), which were  sponsored by individual and organization patrons.

Lithophone is called "goong lu" by ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands, which means "the stones that sound like gongs". This is the oldest percussion instrument of Việt Nam and one of the oldest musical instruments of mankind.

The instrument is normally made of stone bars with different lengths and thicknesses. The long, big and thick pieces have a low-pitched sound, while the short, small and thin ones provide higher pitch sound.

Lithophone has been honoured by the UN cultural agency UNESCO as one of the official musical instruments in the Cultural Space of Gong in the Central Highlands of Việt Nam.

The "Echo of Trà Vinh's Aspirations" will be displayed at the Cultural Centre of Trà Vinh for visitors. VNS