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Experts want to conserve Vietnamese dan bau

Update: October, 08/2015 - 15:50
Veteran artist Thanh Tam performs dan bau. She is one of the founders of Viet Nam Dan Bau Club. — Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Traditional artists discussed the conservation and development of the dan bau (monochord), a Vietnamese musical instrument, at a seminar today morning.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Viet Nam National Academy of Music (VNAM), the Viet Nam Musicians' Association and the Viet Nam Dan Bau Club.

The participants focused on issues of training, dan bau compositions and performing skills.

"The curriculum that includes six years of intermediate-level and four years of upper-level training is not enough to train dan bau artists," Bui Le Chi, head of VNAM's Dan Bau Subject, said.

Artist Hoang Anh Tu from the Thang Long Music, Dance and Song Theatre said training in playing the monochord from an early age was very important.

Tu is a dan bau virtuoso of Viet Nam. He has about 30 years of experience in playing the instrument.

"I studied playing the dan bau for 15 years, which enabled me to play it skillfully. Only well-trained artists can perform in their own style," Tu said.

At the seminar, the participants also expressed their concern about the lack of new monochord compositions. Many of them suggested that students in the composing departments in arts colleges and academies should write one piece each at least for traditional instruments.

"At present, there are not many musicians writing for dan bau," Musicians Quang Vinh, director of the Viet Nam Music, Dance and Sing Theatre, said.

"Arranging traditional pieces for dan bau is one way of having pieces that suit modern life."

Vinh also said his theatre's dan bau repertoire has not been renewed for several years.

Promoting the instrument compositions was a mission for VNAM and related bodies such as the Viet Nam Dan Bau Club, the seminar's chairman and musician Nguyen Tien said in his concluding remarks.

"We will seek sponsorship to launch dan bau composition contests to promote dan bau performances," Tien said.

The instrument, which is of ancient origin, combines the use of a unique string and the production of harmonics. — VNS


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