Dan Bau seeks UNESCO recognition

Experts and scientist at a seminiar in Hanoi on October 21asked the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports to propose to UNESCO to recognize Dan Bau, the Vietnamese monochord zither, as a world heritage.

The workshop was participated by researchers, artists and scholars including Peoole’s Artist Thanh Tâm, Head of National Institute of Music, Professor Nguyen Binh Dinh and among.

The event discussed about history, development and preservation of the traditional instrument as well as keeping alive Dan Bau and fostering a love for dan bau among people.

According to professor Nguyen Thuyet Phong from US-based Institute for Vietnamese Music Research at the first Dan Bau- Vietnamese Monochord festival 2014 , Dan bau has one unique string strung across the bamboo, tied on one end to a rod, which is perpendicularly attached to the bamboo. A coconut shell was attached to the rod, serving as a resonator.

Players have to use their pinky in the right hand to tap the string at different nodes while other fingers pluck the string using a long plectrum while the left hand adjusts the flexible rod to raise or lower the pitch besides instilling soul into the music with techniques including vibrating, sliding and harmonics.

“The melody of the dan bau is like the voice of the Vietnamese people, light but still deep. It carries the souls of the Vietnamese people through the rise and fall of history and it alleviates all the burdens and difficulties in life with hopeful beliefs”, said the Professor.

By Mai An – Translated by Kim Khanh

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