Composer combines two traditional art types in music video

January 08, 2020 - 08:04

Composer  Nguyễn Quang Long has released the new music video (MV) combining traditional arts: xẩm (blind busketers’ singing) and quan họ (love duets).



Composer Nguyễn Quang Long (right) and artists are seen in the music video Blaming the God of Marriage. Photo courtesy of the artist


HÀ NỘI — Composer Nguyễn Quang Long has released a new music video combining the traditional arts of xẩm (blind busketers’ singing) and quan họ (love duets).

He officially launched Trách Ông Nguyệt Lão (Blaming the God of Marriage) in Hà Nội on Saturday to welcome the new year and celebrate the 1010th anniversary of Hà Nội.

It features the story of a photographer from Hà Nội who attended the spring festival in the northern province of Bắc Ninh, a cradle of quan họ, and fell in love with a songstress.

All day and night he dreamed of her beautiful voice and silhouette. He returned to Bắc Ninh to find her and was informed that she had gone to Hà Nội. The young man continued looking for her, but to no avail. It’s a beautiful but sad love story that is often mentioned in quan họ songs.

The video reflects the remarkable landscape of Bắc Ninh’s Tiêu Pagoda and Hà Nội’s Old Quarter thanks to photographer Lê Đức and director Nhật Giang.

“It’s a meaningful gift for Hà Nội on its 1010th birthday. Personally, I want to pay tribute to Bắc Ninh where I was born and Hà Nội where I currently live,” Long said.

Tiêu Pagoda is a significant spot of Bắc Ninh where monk Lý Vạn Hạnh (938 – 1025) meditated. He taught and raised Lý Công Uẩn (974 – 1028), who then became Lý Thái Tổ, the founder of the Lý Dynasty. The King established the capital in Thăng Long (former name of Hà Nội) in 1010.  

Long composed the song based on old lyrics. The video features Long as the main singer as well as Mai Tuyết Hoa and Nguyễn Shan as instrumentalists.

Long said that xẩm and quan họ have many similarities and can be performed in harmony in one musical work.

“This is the first time the two forms have combined in one video,” he said.

“Audiences will enjoy the xẩm singing and some rhythms from quan họ.

“After more than 20 years working in the field of traditional music, I discovered that xẩm and quan họ songs share many lyrics, but just have different music and rhythms.”

The video can be viewed at — VNS