Dan Tranh Music of Vietnam : Traditions and Innovations

Đàn Tranh Music of Vietnam: Traditions and Innovations
by Le Tuan Hung

1st edition 1988
Published by the Australia Asia Foundation

Available from BandCamp

dan tranh book cover 1

This book presents a study of the musical and social history of the Vietnamese zither đàn tranh , with a strong focus on the traditional and contemporary genres in the twentieth century. Analyses of musical and extra-musical features of the main genres of đàn tranh music are presented in conjunction with examinations of social and cultural factors behind their developments. Even though this is only the study of the music of one instrument, it covers the history of some of the most important musical genres in Vietnam in the twentieth century. Readers will, therefore, find useful information on distinctive features of Vietnamese traditional music and the history of Vietnamese music in the twentieth century in general.


Chapter One
The Đàn Tranh in Vietnamese Music History

The Instrument
The Symbolic Meaning of the Đàn Tranh’s Shape and Its Decoration
A Hypothesis on the Origin of the Đàn Tranh
The Đàn Tranh in Vietnamese Music History
Musical Functions and Ensemble Formats
Changes in the Design of the Đàn Tranh

Chapter Two
Huế and Tài Tử Music: Concept of Music and Social Organisation of Musicians

Indigenous Concept of Music in the Huế and Tài Tử Traditions
Social Organisation of Musicians
Chinese Extra-Musical Features in Huế and Tài Tử Music

Chapter Three
Huế and Tài Tử Music: Analysis of Modes

Modes in Huế and Tài Tử Music
Musical Characteristics of Modes
Huế Music
Tài Tử Music

Chapter Four
Huế and Tài Tử Music: Composition, Performing Process and Notations

The Construction of Huế and Tài Tử Compositions
The Elaboration of the Melodic Framework
Improvisation and Reproduction of Pre-existing Versions in Performances
Phrasal Expansion in Pieces of Huế and Tài Tử Music
Đàn Tranh Notations

Chapter Five
The Đàn Tranh in Ngâm Thơ

Musical Characteristics
Styles and Modes

Chapter Six
Music in the Age of Nationalism and Modernisation (1920-1975):
Changes in Huế and Tài Tử Music & The Development of Cải Lương and National Music

Social and Cultural Environment
Changes in Huế and Tài Tử Music
Cải Lương Music in Southern Vietnam (c.1920-1975)
Cải Lương Repertory and New Modes
New Modes and the Practice of Mixing Modes
Performance Style
Social Organisation of Musicians
National Music in South Vietnam (1954-1975)

Chapter Seven
Đàn Tranh Music and The Socialist Revolution:
The Development of Modern National Music

The Socialist Revolution (1954-1986)
Traditional Music and the Cultural and Ideological Revolution
Modern National Music
Reformed Traditional Music
Instrumental Arrangements of Political Songs
Modern National Compositions
Adaptation of Foreign Music
The Training of Modern National Musicians
Social Organisation of Modern National Music
Pre-existing Dan Tranh Music during the Socialist Revolution
Huế and Tài Tử Music
Cải Lương Music
South Vietnamese Popular Music
Đàn Tranh Music in the Đổi Mới Era

Chapter Eight
Đàn Tranh Music Outside Vietnam

The Preservation of Pre-existing Traditions
The De-Westernisation of National Music
Modal Improvisation
Experimental Music
Folk Fusion
New Conventional Compositions
Changes in the Social Organisation of Ðàn Tranh Musicians and Their Teaching Mode

Chapter Nine

Appendix One
The Classification of Principal Pieces in the Classical Repertory of Hue and Tai Tu Music

Appendix Two
Biography of Musicians




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