Ca Tru

Published:  09:58 Tuesday - December 14, 2010 Ca tru music sounds strange to the uninitiated. Clicks and clacks accompany the centuries old ballads. It is not the kind of music that inspires toe tapping or humming.

Originally, ca tru was also called hat a dao or hat noi (literally song of the women singers). Attractive young singers entertained men in a relaxed environment, sometimes serving drinks and snacks. Men might have visited a hat a dao inn with friends to celebrate a successful business deal or the birth of a son.

Ca tru flourished in the 15th century in northern Vietnam when it was popular with the royal palace and a favorite hobby of aristocrats and scholars. Later it was performed in communal houses, inns and private homes. These performances were mostly for men. When men entered a ca tru inn they purchased bamboo tally cards. In Chinese, tru means card. Ca means song in Vietnamese, hence the name ca tru: tally card songs. The tallies were given to the singers in appreciation for the performance. After the performance each singer received payment in proportion to the number of cards received.

Ca tru requires at least three performers. The singer is always a woman and plays the phach, an instrument made of wood or bamboo that is beaten with two wooden sticks. A musician accompanies the singer on the dan day, a long-necked lute with three silk strings and 10 frets. There is also a drummer or trong chau.

The drummer shows his approval of the singer or the songs depending on how he hits the drum. If he likes a song he might hit the side of the drum several times. If he is disappointed with the singer, he hits the drum twice. The guitar player must follow the rhythm of the phach. His instrument, the dan day, is only used in ca tru and is now made almost exclusively for sale to tourists who find the shape intriguing.

Cong Chieng

Cong Chieng

The Cong Chieng is a kind of musical instrument casted from mixed copper and belongs to the idiophonic family. In...
The Klong Put

The Klong Put

The Klong put is the Xe Dang language name of a musical instrument of the wind family, air driving-in branch....
Lithophone

Lithophone

The Dan da (lithophone) is a set of stone slabs of different sizes and shapes fabricated through an elementary technique....
Dan Day

Dan Day

Dan Day is a special instrument of Vietnamese origin. This three-stringed lute is used incorporate the peculiarities of the two-stringed...
Dan K'Ni

Dan K'Ni

The K'Ni is a stringed musical instrument, sawing bow branch and is popular among many ethnic minority groups living in...
The Trong Com

The Trong Com

The trong com (rice drum) gets its name from the practice of placing a pinch of hot steamed rice in...
T'rung

T'rung

T'rung is one of the popular musical instruments closely associated with the spiritual life of the Bahnar, TSedan, Giarai, Ede...
Sao Truc, Vietnamese spiritual life- Vietnamese culture

Sao Truc, Vietnamese spiritual life- Vietnamese culture

Sao truc, the bamboo flute, which is made from a stem of fine bamboo pierced with finger holes, has long...
Dan Tam Three-string Lute

Dan Tam Three-string Lute

This three-stringed lute is used by several ethnic groups in Vietnam. The Viet call it Dan Tam, whereas the Ha...
Dan Tranh 16-string zither

Dan Tranh 16-string zither

The Dan Tranh is also known as Dan Thap Luc or sixteen-stringed zither. Its shape resembles a bamboo tube that...
Dan Ty Ba Four-string Guitar

Dan Ty Ba Four-string Guitar

The Dan Ty Ba is a four-string instrument which is frequently present in a traditional orchestra. Its sound box is...
Dan Nguyet Two-string Guitar

Dan Nguyet Two-string Guitar

The Southerners of Vietnam refer to this instrument as Dan Kim. Dan Nguyet has two strings and the resonator resembles...
We appreciate your comments. Should you have any feedback or thoughts on how to improve VIETNAMTOURISM.ORG.VN , please contact us at: info@vietnamtourism.org.vn
Việt nam tourism Chuyên cung cấp website du lịch và dich vụ tour du lịch VIETNAMTOURISM.ORG.VN Xếp hạng 9.5/10 4999 Bình chọn