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Movie Film about Cai Luong: Song Lang (2018) by Leon Le

Movie Film about Cai Luong: Song Lang (2018) by Leon Le

A song lang is a musical instrument, a little percussion used in Vietnamese traditional music to keep the tempo for the musicians and the performers and – as the protagonist’s father believed – to “guide the artists down the moral path”.

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Home » News » Art

Vọng Cổ : Sáu Câu (Six Phrases)

Posted at: TUEsday - 24/03/2015 15:48 - Viewed: 1167
Vọng Cổ : Sáu Câu (Six Phrases)

Vọng Cổ : Sáu Câu (Six Phrases)

Modern vọng cổ is made up of six phrases of thirty-two measures. A noticeable cadence ends each sub-phrase of four measures. At this cadence, all instruments (and the vocalist) come back together, usually hitting the same note. At eight measures before the end of a phrase, the song loan is tapped twice consecutively by the leader (usually the đàn kìm player) to signify that the phrase is ending. On the last measure of a phrase, the song loan is tapped once more to make sure everyone ends together. At that point, the performers may move on to the next phrase, transition to a different song, or end completely.
Câu Một Vọng Cổ (Vọng Cổ: Phrase One)
 
 The first phrase of vọng cổ always begins with a rao, an improvised introduction by all the musicians. If there is a vocalist, the music fades away and then he begins singing the first line of text with no accompaniment. This vocal line, also part of the rao, is improvised in both melody and rhythm. The next-to-last note is typically drawn out for a very long time before the singer cadences on Hò and all musicians join him. This first declaration is considered the "crowd-pleaser," and well-performed renditions are always met with applause as soon as the cadence hits.
 Because of the rao, the first phrase is shortened to only sixteen measures, with cadences as follows:
 
 Hò --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- (+) Xê
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- (+) Cống
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 The first Hò at the beginning of the table represents the last cadence of the rao introduction. Measures with dashes through them represent free improvisation (within the constraints of the hơi until the cadence.
 
 From câu một, one always transitions to another phrase.
 
 Câu Hai Vọng Cổ (Vọng Cổ: Phrase Two)
 
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- (+) Xê
 --- --- --- Xê or Xang
 --- --- --- (+) Xang
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 The second phrase can be used as a passing phrase, especially in the "one, two, three" pattern, or it can be used as a closing phrase, with the final cadence on Xang adding an emotional charge suitable for laments and grief-laden drama. The preceding cadence floats between xê and xang, although xê might be used to soften the transition to Xang at the end.
 
 
 Câu Ba Vọng Cổ (Vọng Cổ: Phrase Three)
 
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- (+) Cống
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- (+) Hò
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 Câu ba (phrase three) usually appears as a transition from câu hai (phrase two). It works well as a closing phrase, because it ends on Hò (tonic). For the same reason, one rarely continues directly from this phrase to another one; instead, musicians may transition to another song, perform another rao, then finish the vọng cổ cycle with "four -> five -> six" or "five -> six".
 
 Câu Bốn Vọng Cổ (Vọng Cổ: Phrase Four)
 
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- Xề
 --- --- --- Xề
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- (+) Cống
 --- --- --- Xang or Xê
 --- --- --- (+) Hò
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 The notable aspect of this phrase is to distinguish between Xê, with circumflex only, and Xề, with circumflex and grave (see diacritics for details). Xê represents the pitch above Hò shown previously, while Xề represents one octave below that note. Both are used in this phrase as cadences.
 
 Câu bốn is occasionally used as the opening phrase in a vọng cổ performance. In this case, it is truncated to sixteen measures (the last four cadences) and then merged with câu một (details below in "Phrase Order"). The new phrase, which is treated just like câu một, becomes:
 
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- (+) Xê
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- (+) Hò
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 
 Câu Năm Vọng Cổ (Vọng Cổ: Phrase Five)
 
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- Hò
 --- --- --- (+) Xê
 --- --- --- Xang or Xê
 --- --- --- (+) Xề
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 Câu Năm is typically not recognized throughout by its melodic nature, but by its rhythm. While other phrases show stresses on the beat, this phrase begins with syncopated stresses and novel rhythms. It also boasts the most unique ending cadence, on the pitch Xề in the low register. This closing cadence is often referred to as "xuống xề" (going down to the xề pitch).
 
 This phrase typically continues to câu sáu, because xề does not have the melodic finality of xang or hò.
 
 
 Câu Sáu Vọng Cổ (Vọng Cổ: Phrase Six)
 
 --- --- --- Xề
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- Xang
 --- --- --- Cống
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- (+) Xề
 --- --- --- Xê
 --- --- --- (+) Hò
 
 (+) denotes a song loan clap
 
 The use of xê and xề continuously can be seen as strengthening the return to hò in similar fashion to the use of the "dominant" (fifth) in classical western music. The finality of this phrase is always evident during performance.
 
 
 Phrase Order
 
 The phrases can be played in order, but this is not always the case. Popular combinations of phrases include:
 
 one, two, three
 one, two, three, break, four, five six
 one, two, break, five, six
 one, five, six
 
 Other combinations are possible, but these patterns represent the majority of cases. The break in some patterns represent a transition to some other piece. Possibilities include ngâm thơ (poetry declamation, tân nhạc (modern popular music), nhạc cổ (traditional music), dân ca (folk songs), or even another rao (improvised introduction).
 
 When one starts with a phrase other than câu một, it's necessary to merge the two phrases (the new phrase and câu một to make a new opening phrase that is both recognizeable and cohesive. First, one can remove the first sixteen measures, cutting the phrase to sixteen measures like câu một (phrase one). This leaves the necessary space for the rao. Afterwards, the phrases are merged, so that the first eight measures are exactly the same as câu một and the last eight measures are the last eight measures of the other phrase. This was how the diagram for câu bốn (phrase four) above was prepared. Because the first, fourth, and fifth phrases are the phrases used most as the starting phrase after the rao, this technique is typically only used for the fourth and fifth phrases.
 
 
 Famous Songs Based on Vọng Cổ
 
 As has been stressed above, vọng cổ has more to do with a system of music than any particular song. No two performances of vọng cổ music will ever be the same, and futhermore, writers have penned many different verses to be used in vọng cổ for many different performers and plays.
 
 Some of the most renowned vọng cổ pieces have come from the prolific composer Viễn Châu. Some of his famous verses include the lament by Võ Đông Sơ for his lover Bạch Thu Hà in the play Võ Đông Sơ Bạch Thu Hà( sung by Minh Cảnh) and the lament by Lan as she becomes a Buddhist nun in the play Lan và Điệp (sung by Út Bạch Lan).
 

Source: tcgd theo VNW
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