Past Event

Ca trù - Vietnamese folk music talk with Artist Khue Van Nguyen and Hanoi Ca Tru Thai Ha Ensemble Performance

November 5, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Online Zoom Event

The traditional Vietnamese folk art – Ca trù singing is inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguard- ing by UNSECO in 2009. Please join us and learn about the history of ca trù singing as well as enjoy the performance from a seven - generation family in Hanoi, Vietnam. 

Guest Speakers:

a. Artist Nguyen Van Khue is professional at playing Dan Day – three-stringed lute with rectangular body which is another special musical instrument of Vietnam that creates a deep sound to blend into the voice of the singer.

b. Artist Nguyen Thi Hoa is an excellent student of People’s Artist Quach Thi Ho, the leading artist in Ca Trù. Hoa has a beautiful voice, great skills as well as a style that can be considered as norms for Ca Trù music that have earned her various awards in Singapore, China, Japan and France. 

c. Artist Kieu Thanh – trống chầu

Moderated by: Phuong Chung Nguyen, Lecturer in Vietnamese, Director the Vietnamese Language Program, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Ca trù is an ancient genre of chamber music featuring female vocalists, with origins in northern Vietnam. Ca trù is inscribed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009. The most widely known and widely performed type of Ca Trù involves only three performers: the female vocalist, lute player and a spectator (who also takes part in the performance. The female singer provides the vocals whilst playing her phach (small wooden sticks beaten on a small bamboo platform to serve as percussion). She is accompanied by a man who plays the dan day, a three-stringed lute with rectangular body used almost exclusively for the Ca Trù genre. Last is the spectator (often a scholar or connoisseur of the art) who strikes a trong chau (the accompanying tomtom) in praise (or disapproval) of the singer’s performance, usually with every passage of the song. The way in which he strikes the drum shows whether he likes or dislikes the performance, but he always does it according to the beat provided by the vocalists’ phach castanet percussion.

The Thai Ha Ensemble is a seven generation family for ca trù performance in Hanoi, Vietnam. Thai Ha club retains 30 traditional Ca Tru songs, and is researching into the recovery of many other old songs which were almost disappeared due to the years of getting lost. The club is famous nationally and internationally, and has been touring many countries to perform the art.

The event will be conducted via Zoom. Please email Chung Nguyen at [email protected] to register and receive the zoom link.

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Contact Information

Athina Fontenot