Don Ca Tai Tu, a type of typical folk art of Vietnam, formed and developed from the late 19th century. Don Ca Tai Tu is the art of musical instrument and singing, which the Southern ordinary people compose to sing after working hours. The word “tai tu” means that the music player is excellent at old music. At first there was only musical instrument, but then singing appeared so that it was called Don Ca.
Artistic Features Of Don Ca Tai Tu
The songs of Don Ca Tai Tu are composed based on the ceremony music, court music, folk music of the Central and Southern of Vietnam. They are continuously improved from 72 old songs, especially from 20 original songs for 4 tunes including 6 Bac songs (express the happiness, generosity), 6 Ha songs (used in solemn ceremony), 3 Nam songs (show the serenity and comfort) and 4 Oan songs (describe the distressing farewell).
Don ca tai tu requires instrument accompaniment like orchestra
Musical instruments used in Don Ca Tai Tu include: dan tranh, dan co, dan ty ba, dan tam, flute, and song loan… since 1930 there have been violin, guitar, and Hawaii guitar.
Performers of Don Ca Tai Tu are: musicians who are skillful and knowledgeable about old versions and teach others how to play musical instrument; composers having good comprehension and experience to create new version; music teacher owning skilled singing technique; people who play the musical instrument and singers.
Don Ca Tai Tu is performed by group, club and family. They hardly do it alone but usually sing a duet or concert. The orchestra, often locating in the same mat with a disengaged performing style, is based on a basic fixed frame called “long ban”. The audience can join in the performance, make a comment and create new things.
With Vietnamese traditional costume, this group is playing don ca tai tu
Don Ca Tai Tu is taught by 2 forms: direct oral at home, club, family; oral with lessons at local or national artistic and cultural schools. People have to spend at least 3 years to learn basic skills such as: rao, rung, nhan, khay, bung, phi, ve, lay, day, chop, chup…; learn how to play different musical instruments. Those who learn singing have to learn traditional songs and then create a tactful ways to sing in the basis of original version.
Southern people consider Don Ca Tai Tu as a cultural spirit activity which is indispensible in the festival, Lunar New Year, ceremony, wedding, birthday party, meeting… Hung King’s anniversary is held on 12th Lunar August annually.
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