|Sweet music: Troupes from 21 provinces in the south-east and the Mekong Delta perform at the opening ceremony of the second National Tài Tử Music Festival in Bình Dương Province last year. File Photo by Triều Phạm|
BÌNH DƯƠNG – Bình Dương Province has earmarked VNĐ9.7 billion (US$426,000) for a project to preserve and promote tài tử music and singing.
Under the two year project, half of the province’s 72 southern tài tử art troupes will receive support.
They will be provided with musical instruments and equipment for performances. The province will also help them organise shows and free classes at district cultural centres.
Performers and researchers making great contributions to preserving and promoting the music will be honoured.
Bình Dương ’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has instructed relevant district-level agencies to ensure the project runs efficiently.
The province had hosted the second National Tài Tử Music Festival at Bình Dương New City almost a year ago.
The five-day festival attracted arts troupes from 21 southern provinces.
The performers then toured the province putting up free tài tử music performances.
Tài tử is the prototype for the vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) and cải lương (reformed opera) genres of southern Việt Nam, and began around 100 years ago.
It is always performed at traditional festivals, weddings and death anniversaries in the Mekong Delta provinces of Cần Thơ, Sóc Trăng, Cà Mau, and Bạc Liêu.
Artists play traditional instruments like a two-stringed guitar called the đàn kìm, and are accompanied by singers who express various emotions.
In 2013 the music was recognised as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by the UN cultural agency UNESCO. -- VNS