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Exhibition features development of traditional musical genre

Update: April, 10/2014 - 09:19
Recognised as an intangible cultural heritage in December 2013 by UNESCO, don ca tai tu is said to have both scholarly and folk roots and developed in the south of Viet Nam in the late 19th century.— Photo Phuong Vi

CAN THO (VNS)  —  Over 200 images, artefacts, books and newspaper stories on the formation and development of don ca tai tu, Viet Nam's latest piece of world intangible cultural heritage, are being offered to the public at the Museum of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

The eight-day exhibition which opened on Tuesday, aims to pay tribute to artists, composers and researchers who have created, preserved and brought awareness to the value of the distinctive musical art of southern Viet Nam.

Recognised as an intangible cultural heritage in December 2013 by UNESCO, don ca tai tu is said to have both scholarly and folk roots and developed in the south of Viet Nam in the late 19th century

It is performed at a wide range of events, including festivals, "death anniversary" rituals, and celebratory occasions. The audience can also join in by practising or creating new lyrics for songs.

The ancient art has been passed down through generation by means of official and unofficial forms of education in all 21 southern provinces. The art form is played on a variety of different instruments, including the kim (moon-shaped lute), co (two-stringed fiddle), tranh (16-string zither), ty ba (pear-shaped lute), song lang (percussion), bau (monochord) and the sao (bamboo flute).

Influenced by other forms of culture from the central and southern regions of Viet Nam, such as nhac le (ceremonial music) and hat boi (classical theatre and folk song), the music genre was added to the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012. — VNS

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