The musician was born into a family that loved music in 1925 in Nghe An province’s Vinh city. He entered in the revolutionary movement in 1945 and started composing in 1947.
He made many outstanding contributions to the Vietnamese music industry. He intends to employ folk music in composition. His famous works include Vuot Trung Duong (Crossing the ocean), Me yeu con (Mother’s love), Nguoi di xay ho Ke Go (Ke Go reservoir builders), Dang dung Ben Tre (Ben Tre’s standing lady), Bai ca Phu nu Vietnam (The song of Vietnamese women) and among others.
Me yeu con (Mother’s love) is a popular song that has become a symbol of maternal love, using the northern area's lullabies and emotional lyrics.
In 1957, musician Nguyen Van Ty and others including Nguyen Xuan Khoat, Do Nhuan, Luu Huu Phuoc and Van Cao were asked to establish the Vietnam Musicians' Association.
He is also a respectful teacher of musicians, namely Nguyen Van Hien, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, Tu Huy, Nguyen Duc Trung, Le Van Loc.
The composer was presented the Ho Chi Minh and State Awards for Literature and Arts in 2000.
His body is being kept at the Ho Chi Minh City Funeral House on Le Quy Don Street from December 27-29 for people to pay their respects.