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Posted at: TUEsday - 07/04/2015 15:02 - Viewed: 5088


Vọng cổ is a song, or more appropriately a cycle or pattern, performed in cải lương opera (renovated theater). Although created in the twentieth century, it is most similar to and has its roots in nhạc tài tử chamber music of south Việt Nam. As the central foundation to cải lương opera, it provides a framework for lyricism and instrumentation while being the only piece in the traditional southern repertoire to allow for extended improvisation. A full ensemble performing vọng cổ usually has a lục huyền cầm (guitar with carved fretboard), đàn kìm (moon lute), đàn tỳ ba (pear-shaped lute), đàn nhị (two-string fiddle), đàn tranh (sixteen-string zither), đàn bầu (monochord), and of course a singer.
1- Lục huyền cầm (six-stringed instrument) or ghi-ta phím lõm (guitar with pitted frets).
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 2- Đàn kìm or nguyệt cầm - moon lute
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 The name of the instrument comes from the Hán Việt (Sino-Vietnamese) word for moon, nguyệt, and thus it is often called a "moon lute" in English. It roughly resembles a banjo in appearance, with a round (and thus moonlike) body and a long fingerboard. Fixed to the fingerboard are tall frets over which run two strings. The instrument is held with the right hand plucking and the left hand along the fingerboard. It is used in genres throughout Vietnam, although some of the most prominent include nhạc tài tử and hát văn.
 3- Đàn tỳ bà - pear-shaped lute
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 The đàn tỳ bà or pear-shaped lute is a four-string lute with a characteristic "pear" or "tear" shape, as the English name implies. The body and neck are seamlessly integrated, as opposed to other Vietnamese lutes with smaller or shorter bodies and longer necks. The four-strings have individual tuners, two jutting out of each side of the instrument head, which is often intricately carved. The instrument is either played vertically, sitting on the performer's lap, or in recent days, horizontally in similar fashion to a guitar. Đàn tỳ bà is most often seen in nhạc tài tử ensembles these days.
 4- Đàn nhị or đàn cò - two-string fiddle
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 The Vietnamese đàn nhị or "two-string fiddle" bears a striking resemblence to similar instruments both in China and in the rest of Southeast Asia. Most accurately, the label refers to a whole class of instruments constructed with a slender shaft for a body, curved at one end and attached to a resonator box at the other. Two tuning pegs are attached at the curved end, and two strings run from the tuning pegs to the resonator box. A bow made of wood and horsehair is used to play the instrument, with the horsehair running between the two strings. The size and kind of resonator box determines the specific kind, including đàn hồ, đàn gáo, đàn cò cao/đàn cò lòn, etc..
 5- Đàn tranh or thập lục huyền cầm, đàn thập lục - sixteen-string zither
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 The đàn tranh or "sixteen-string zither" is probably one of the most well-known of the traditional instruments, experiencing a recent resurgence especially among young Vietnamese girls. The instrument body is a long, hollowed wooden box tapered at one end. Sixteen strings, traditionally of silk, pass from the broad end towards the narrow end and are held there with individual pegs. A raised bridge for each string lies approximately at its middle. A player plucks the string with the right hand to the right of tbe bridge, while the left hand presses on the left side of the string to bend the string's pitch and provide ornamentation.
 6- Đàn bầu or độc huyền cầm, đàn độc huyền - monochord
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 The đàn bầu is a single-stringed instrument that consists of a long wooden board with one string that runs the entire length of the instrument. The string on one end is run into the instrument to a tuning peg; on the other end, it is tied to a flexible rod coming out of the wooden body and into a soundbox made from a hollowed gourd. The player uses a plectrum in the right hand, plucking while the base of the pinky is rested on a harmonic node; the left hand pushes and pulls the rod to change the tension of the string, creating intermediate pitches and ornamentation.

Source: tcgd theo Viet Music
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