Music researcher Bui Trong Hien of the Institute of Vietnamese Culture and Arts has in the past three years worked with colleagues and artists to restore the standard rules of Cua Dinh folk singing.
Bui Trong Hien began to research Cua Dinh performing practices in Ca Tru folk singing in 2014. Late last year, the Institute of Vietnamese Culture and Arts assigned Hien to be in charge of a project on restoring standard performing practices and original tunes of Ca Tru folk singing.
Hien then began collecting Cua Dinh folk songs and worked with Mr. Nguyen Phu De, a veteran Ca Tru artist in Hai Duong province to restore the original songs and music. Hien said “Previously, singers learned singing spontaneously. I recorded original tunes and transcribed them into musical notation.”
Because Ca Tru singers often learned singing from one another, Bui Trong Hien and his associates are trying to create standards for performing Ca Tru and developed them into theory.
Luong Hong Quang, Deputy Director of the Institute of Vietnamese Culture and Arts said "Under this project, artists learn to play and perform Ca Tru in a standard manner which is much different from learning by ear. The project restored standard practices in performing Cua Dinh folk singing which has been lost for decades. With the new theory, artists can master the music genre.”
As part of the project, Hien and his associates released an album featuring a number of typical Cua Dinh folk songs. Associate Professor Doctor Vu Nhat Thang from the Vietnam National Academy of Music said “This is a valuable and detailed research project. They have completed a huge volume of work. Bui Trong Hien carried it out very carefully and systematically. This research should be made public as soon as possible.”