Seminar comes up with measures to preserve “Then” singing

More than 40 researchers and artists from across the country gathered in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang on October 4 for a seminar on preserving “Then” singing and “dan tinh” musical instrument.

Participants said “Then” songs and traditional “Then” performances, which are only passed down by word of mouth among the ethnic minority groups of the Tay, Nung and Thai, should be written down to preserve them for future generations and so that they can be accessed by museums or research centres.

They highlighted the role of local troupes in spreading the “Then” songs, adding that “Then” tunes and the skill of playing the “dan tinh”, the main instrument in the “Then” genre, must be included in the curriculum of local arts schools.

They also called for transcribing phonetically and translating ancient “Then” songs, revamping their performance styles and publishing books, discs and films to develop this traditional musical art form.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has submitted to the Government a plan to preserve and develop “Then” and “dan tinh” with a view to achieving UNESCO’s recognition of the music as a world cultural heritage.