Đàn Bầu: Conservation and Inheritance at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

By Watcharamon Kongkhunthian, Supunnee Leauboonshoo and Truong Ngoc Thang.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 28, 2015 $US5.00

Đàn Bầu is a single string (monochord) musical instrument of Vietnam. The Vietnam National Academy of Music is the leading institute in producing professional Đàn Bầu musicians, artists, and teachers. This is a qualitative research aimed at studying the characteristics of Đàn Bầu playing patterns and approaches to conservation and development of the instrument. An additional objective of this investigation is to study the teaching and learning processes of Đàn Bầu in the Vietnam National Academy of Music. Data were collected from documents and field study from October 2012 to February 2014. Research instruments used for data collection were observation and interview. The research results found that the physical features of the Đàn Bầu are simple and it is an effective instrument in conveying emotions and feelings. The unique sound of the instrument is created by harmonics. It is listed in the national music curriculum of the Vietnam National Academy of Music. The academy supports and organizes an appropriate environment for learning, as well as development of the instrument shape and sound quality. The teaching process of the Đàn Bầu curriculum goes from basic to professional level. The curriculum aims at developing the knowledge and skill of students playing the instrument in different song patterns such as Cheo, Hue, and Tai Tu-Cai Lueang. Students are taught to change sound keys, interpret music scores, and adjust playing techniques. Teachers are responsible for organizing activities and the preparation of instruments. Teachers demonstrate by playing the instrument and encourage students to imitate. The curriculum content is divided into determined levels of difficulty and there are mid-term and final examinations. In their final year, students must demonstrate the accumulation of their knowledge, which is carefully and precisely assessed by teachers and assessment committees.

Keywords: Đàn Bầu, Teaching Process, Traditional Musical Instruments, Vietnam National Academy of Music

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.39-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 28, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 511.373KB)).

Watcharamon Kongkhunthian

Ph.D. Candidate, College of Music, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand

Supunnee Leauboonshoo

Lecturer, College of Music, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand

Truong Ngoc Thang

Lecturer, Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam