The defenders of folk songs and music

VOV.VN - VOV’s folk music and songs program has left a unique impression on audiences for more than 60 years.

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People's Artist Hong Ngat performs an ancient Cheo song "Luyen nam cung"

All the artists, researchers, singers, and editors who have greatly contributed to the program feel proud that it’s the only program to have broadcast hundreds of folk songs and traditional music each day. 

With love for the art form, they have wholeheartedly devoted themselves to collecting, researching, and introducing the cultural heritage to listeners across the country. 

In this week’s Society, we’ll spotlight a number of people who are doing the utmost to preserve Vietnamese folk songs and music.

VOV broadcasts folk music and song programs, covering all forms of traditional folklore and theatrical musical arts, nationwide, from the lowlands to the mountain areas, from the mainland to the islands.  

For the soldiers who are safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and territory day and night, each folk song seems to bring them back home to peaceful childhood memories:

People’s Artist Hong Ngat, Deputy Director of VOV Theater, recalled although she has worked at the radio for 27 years, she feels like each broadcast is a challenge.

For folk songs recorded in studios without direct contact with listeners, artists should sing from the bottom of their hearts to convey the songs’ messages and their sentiments.

Ngat said she always tries her best to make each broadcast more interesting but at the same time still preserves the fundamental, typical character of each kind of traditional music.

“For a folk melody, it’s possible to change the lyrics to make it fit the context of today’s society. But it’s impossible to break its old musical rules. In that way, when the melody is sung, listeners can recognize the traditional melody and know what the author wanted to imply,” said Ngat.

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Meritorious artist Thu Trang and artist Hoang Tung jointly sing a reformed theater song featuring the love for the popular traditional singing in the south with the lyrics set by playwright Huu Son at a ceremony to mark the program's 60th anniversary.

The artists and editors of the program must have a great love for traditional folk melodies to pursue such a career. 

During the 1960s when the country was still partitioned, they overcame all difficulties to bring Quan Ho folk songs to southerners to inspire the fighting spirit of both soldiers and fellow-citizens in the south.

When the nation was reunited, VOV artists and editors spared no effort to discover and analyze the beauties of folk singing from different regions of Vietnam to help listeners better understand the abundant reserve of the Vietnamese folklore culture.

Meritorious Artist Thu Trang of VOV Theater said, “Singing on the radio, artists should create their own stages in their souls and imagine the situations of the characters in the folk songs to convey the thoughts and feelings of the songs so that the audience can perceive them in the best way.”

Musician Dan Huyen, one of the first people to set up VOV’s folk song and music program, compared the production of a folk singing program to the weaving of a piece of cloth, which requires various meticulous steps. 

If the first cloth was successfully weaved, there won’t be any difficulties for later products, Huyen said.

Mai Van Lang, head of the folk songs and music section, told us of the hardships he whiling making field trips to record folk songs and music programs:

“It’s always the most interesting to enjoy the original folk singing, to go to the homeland of the art form, and listen to local artisans singing these songs. For instance, if you want to enjoy Quan Ho folk singing, no one will sing it better than those from the land of the genre in Bac Ninh Province; or for Dum singing, you should go to Thuy Nguyen in Haiphong City; or Xuan Pha singing in Thanh Hoa Province," he said. 

"It often takes me at least five days to go to a hamlet in Cao Bang Province to record Then singing by an experienced artist. Just to invite this artisan to sing, I had to stay there, wait, and hold a ritual to invite him to perform,” he added.

To date, there are 70 programs broadcast on VOV each week, covering all forms of traditional folklore and theatrical musical arts. The music of 40 out of 54 ethnic nationalities in Vietnam has been introduced in the program.


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