Traditional Vietnamese Music as a Form of National Expression

Traditional Vietnamese music is a plethora of source of poetic words and concepts. Music is usually transformed into song lyrics but the meaning of each poem is a constant.

Ho and ly folk music describe the everyday life of people who are ordinary. Their music transports us to small worlds full of tales. Also, they have a resonant appeal which is universal.


Vietnamese music is a representation of a nation’s culture, tradition, and its history. Also, it tells the stories of life and people with a style which will be timeless. During the two revolutionary wars, songs about the conflict allowed soldiers to start making sense of the things that were not making much sense back then.

The poetry and music of Vietnam span a wide variety of styles, ranging from traditional court music, to folk songs, and even sung poetry. Hat chauvan and Cai Luong are some of the popular styles.

The styles of music reflect daily lives and the hopes of the people for peace. They’re an important heritage of culture for a contemporary Vietnam that embraces its many traditions. They serve as an ode to the struggles which the country faced in its history and its resilience to face adversity.


The unique Vietnamese musical style Chau van can be traced back to spirituality. The genre serves as a connection between the physical and the spiritual. It expresses the lessons of life, love for country and family, and respect for national heroes with instruments and songs.

Much like the poetry of English, Vietnamese verse is rhymed. Vietnamese rhymes are based more on the tone class as opposed to the metrical conventions for the majority of European languages.

It’s a kind of Vietnamese music which combines traditional folk music, classical melody and contemporary influences. The performance is energetic and accompanied by traditional instruments such as the dan Nguyet (moon an lute) and the dan transh (zither). Stories are very dear to people’s heart.

Cultural Significance

The evolution of art has taken place during the time that Vietnamese cultural development. The early literature of folk contains tales of gods, goddesses, as well as cultural icons. Vietnamese poetry is marked with rhymes, which are similar to the rhymes used found in Chinese or European dialects.

Then, the arts of the theatre and music also started to develop. Water puppetry is one of the unique arts that developed in rice paddies flooded with water in the 12th century. The performers use sticks to move the wooden puppets afloat Soan van lop 7 Chan troi sang tao on water. Chinese opera, also called Hat Tuong in Vietnam is popular since the 13th century onwards.

A complex form of sung poetry, catru was once an extremely popular art that filled courts and drawing crowds to sing-along contests. This art form is being preserved by a handful of senior singers. The art has been included on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage that is in need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The Evolution of Humanity

Vietnamese music and poetry were heavily influenced by culture. Music is the result of art that has been preserved over generations. It’s also an engaging reflection of the national character.

The traditional musical genres of Vietnam are based on the distinct ethnic cultures. Examples include ho and ly folk music arose from the Red River Delta in Northern Vietnam and includes sung poetry that are supported by Zither and Vietnamese monochord.

UNESCO has recognized Hue court music as an art of high refinement that developed during the Nguyen Dynasty. Zithers, moon lutes and other traditional instruments are used to play the music.

Conservation of cultural heritage

Vietnamese cultural life is defined by music. It’s not only a way of entertainment, but also a way to preserve the culture and traditions.

Vietnam’s folk songs are filled with important life lessons including respect for your parents and the country. These songs emphasize the importance of being honest, good will and love to your country

UNESCO has acknowledged eight different forms of music as a part of the nation’s cultural intangible heritage. They include Quan Ho sings, Hue Royal Court music ca tru, hat xam and bai choi singing.

Moreover, each ethnic group that is found in Vietnam also has their own distinct traditional music and instruments. In the case of for instance, Montagnard families sing their children to sleep with lullabies that differ from the ones of the Kinh and Muong.

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