Vietnamese Popular Songs

Vietnamese Popular Songs
There are three styles of popular songs: Western style, quê hương (homeland) style and tân cổ giao duyên (old and new music exchanging charms) style.
Western style: based exclusively on Western pop and rock musical models.

Quê hương (homeland ) style: shows a combination of the features of Western pop music listed above and those of Vietnamese folk music. Pentatonic scales, melodic motives or fragments of folk songs were used to create folk-like pop songs. A few songs also show the adoption of the call and response structure of traditional work songs ho. One or more traditional instruments are often used in the accompaniment of these songs in addition to the rock combo. The most popular traditional instrument is the đàn tranh (zither).

Tân cổ giao duyên (old and new music exchanging charms) style is the fusion-song-style developed by Bảy Bá in Saigon in 1964. This song style has been very popular in South Vietnam since its creation. This style shows a combination of two pre-existing song styles: the traditional song Vọng Cổ (Longing for the Past) and the Western-influenced popular songs. Sections of existing popular songs (the New) are combined with those of the traditional song Vọng Cổ (the Old) to form a "piece" of music with sections alternating between traditional and styles. The traditional sections are accompanied by Vietnamese instruments and the pop sections are accompanied by Western instruments. The most popular instrument used in the accompaniment of the traditional sections is the modified Western guitar, with a wavery fingerboard that enables the musician to producing the bending tones typical of Vietnamese music.

Traditional musical instruments:

The đàn tranh is a zither, similar to the Japanese koto and the Chinese zheng. The standard version of this instrument has seventeen strings. Larger đàn tranh of twenty-two and twenty-five strings are also used in works of the Melbourne-based composer-performer Ðặng Kim Hiền.

The đàn nguyệt (or đàn kìm) is a two-stringed moon-shaped lute. It has a long fingerboard with very high frets.

The đàn bầu (or đàn độc huyền) is a monochord.

The đàn nhị (or đàn cò) is a two-stringed fiddle with a tube resonator.

The đàn gáo is a two-stringed fiddle with a coconut shell resonator

The đàn tỳ bà is a four-stringed pear shaped lute, similar to the Chinese pipa.

The sáo is a bamboo or wooden transverse flute.

A variety of percussion instruments, including sinh tiền (coin clappers), phách (clappers), song lang (foot clapper) and drums.

In the music-theatre cải lương, the modified Western electronic guitar with a wavy shaped fingerboard appears to be the popular instrument.

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Nguồn tin: LTH