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Viet Nam: Tradition of the South

Various Artists
Viet Nam: Tradition of the South

The music presented in this collection is considered to be “entertainment” music, similar to that played in private concerts or on the radio, rather than for religious and ceremonial occasions. The South designation—of historical note, this music was recorded before the political unification of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1975—refers not only to the tradition’s possible geographic origin, but also to the musical modes used.

This recording features the đàn tranh, a 17-string zither with movable frets, and the ty bà lute, as well as a small block of hardwood in the shape of a short cylinder called song lang. Nguyễn Vĩnh Bảo, considered by many to be the finest đàn tranh player of the mid- to late 20th century, performs solo on four tracks and is joined by Trần Văn Khê on the ty bà for the final two tracks on the recording. The liner notes are written by Trần Văn Khê, who is both a musician and a musicologist.

Please enjoy a free download of the song “Prelude in the modal nuance Dao followed by an extract from the piece Ngu Cung Dao

Prelude in the modal nuance Dao followed by
an extract from the piece Ngu Cung Dao

This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music. More than 125 albums are being released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to make the series publicly available again, including more than a dozen never-released albums of musical traditions from around the globe.

Track Listing