National Ca Tru Festival to take place next month in Ha Tinh
Ca Tru singing troupes from 13 provinces and cities nationwide will gather in the central province of Ha Tinh early next month for the National Ca Tru (ceremonial singing) Festival 2018.
Illustrative image. (Source: VNA)
The event will be held from November 1 - 5 by the Vietnam National Academy of Music, the Department of Culture Heritage and the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ha Tinh.
Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on October 24, Pham Minh Huong from the academy said the festival is an opportunity to review all achievements in preserving Ca tru, as well as the vitality of the art genre at present.
The event will contribute to affirming that Vietnam has fully implemented and achieved practical results as committed to UNESCO for the protection and promotion of the value of Ca tru cultural heritage.
After the festival, Vietnam will compile the dossier to gain UNESCO recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity instead of the current status of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, Huong said.
Troupes attending the event come from Hanoi, the northern localities of Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, and Phu Tho, the central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, and Ho Chi Minh City.
The opening ceremony of the festival will take place on November 1, while the ceremony to honour artists will be held in the evening of November 5.
Ca tru is a complex form of sung poetry found in the north of Vietnam using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms. Ca tru groups comprise three performers: a female singer who uses breathing techniques and vibrato to create unique ornamented sounds, while playing the clappers or striking a wooden box, and two instrumentalists who produce the deep tone of a three-stringed lute and the strong sounds of a praise drum. Some Ca tru performances also include dance.
The varied forms of Ca tru fulfill different social purposes, including worship singing, singing for entertainment, singing in royal palaces and competitive singing.
Ca tru has fifty-six different musical forms or melodies, each of which is called thể cách. Folk artists transmit the music and poems that comprise Ca trù pieces by oral and technical transmission, formerly, within their family line, but now to any who wish to learn.
The art genre appeared in the North around the 15th century and thrived until the early 20th century. Since then, it has decreased in popularity due to the spread of modern recreational and cultural activities.
Today, this kind of singing is practised in 15 provinces and cities throughout Vietnam. The recent festival is part of the national programme to preserve and develop Ca tru.
Ca tru was recorgnised by UNESCO as a world Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding by UNESCO in 2009. It is one of the most uniquely Vietnamese genres of folk music in the Vietnamese treasury of traditional music./.