Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A book on hát nói (recital melody), a kind of Vietnamese folk singing, was released this week after years of work by folk-culture researcher Nguyễn Đức Mậu.
The 500-page book, Tuyển Tập Hát Nói (Collection of Hát Nói - A Kind of Vietnamese Folk Singing), includes 407 songs and poems used in hát nói.
The songs used in hát nói are taken from traditional poems set to music and most of them have unknown composers.
In the early 20th century, people sang works by northern patriots and famous poets to present their hopes and views. This was a kind of hát nói that scholars often used in communities to fuel patriotism.
Hát nói played a very important role in the development of the country’s folk art.
The book was edited by Dr Mậu, a graduate of Hà Nội General University (now Hà Nội Social Sciences and Humanities University), who has many years of experience in folk culture and music research.
In his book, Mậu writes about the development of hát nói and how the writers and artists created and sang the music.
He focuses on different styles that depict the country’s history, culture and lifestyle.
The book includes poems by famous poets and authors living in the early 20th century, such as Nguyễn Khuyến, Nguyễn Công Trứ, Cao Bá Quát and Tản Đà.
Highlighted works are Vịnh Tết (Singing about the Lunar New Year) and Bài Ca Lưu Biệt (Song of Separation) by patriots Phan Bội Châu and Huỳnh Thúc Kháng.
Tuyển Tập Hát Nói, published by the Vinh University Publishing House, is valuable for young generations, particularly students from art schools.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Xuân said in the HCM City-based newspaper Người Lao Động (Labourer) that “people could learn about the country’s folk art but also about history and culture.”
The book is available in bookstores. — VNS