Music festival highlights tai tu art form

The Tai tu Music Festival 2016 opens on September 12 in Bac Lieu as part of the Mekong Delta city’s cultural activities to celebrate National Tourism 2016 with the theme “Discovering the Southern Land”.

During the three-day event, artists from dozens of art troupes in the region will perform hundreds of songs and instrumental music pieces.

Musicians will play traditional instruments, including a two-stringed guitar called dan kim, to accompany the singers.

During the opening ceremony, artists from the Cao Van Lau Cai Luong Theatre will perform the popular song Da Co Hoai Lang (Night Drumbeats for an Absent Husband), written in 1919 by well-known composer Cao Van Lau, a native of the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu.

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The song tells of the love, anguish and pride of a young woman watching her husband fight for the country.

The festival also includes talks on the tai tu music genre by researchers.

Cao Xuan Thu Van, Director of Bac Lieu Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the festival would give people, particularly youth, the opportunity to understand and preserve the region’s traditional music.

“We hope to encourage young and veteran artists and fans of tai tu music to expand the art,” she said.

Tai tu music is considered the prototype for vong co (nostalgic tunes) and cai luong (reformed opera) of southern Vietnam.

It is a part of the region’s traditional music that began 100 years ago. The music is associated with farmers who sing while working in the fields or relaxing at the end of a hard day.

The songs are performed at traditional festivals, weddings and death anniversary events in the region.

In 2013, the music was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The festival opens at 8pm on September 12 at the Bac Lieu Cultural House.


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