Overseas Youth Brings Tender Sound of Vietnam's Monochord Zither to Australians
Wearing ao dai, playing the dan bau (monochord), and speaking Vietnamese fluently are the impressions of people of young overseas Vietnamese Nguyen Vu Hao (also known as Hao Nguyen). The young man born in 1997, is bringing Vietnamese traditional music to Australia.
Love for traditional music
At the age of 5, Hao moved to Australia with his family. Already loving music, this young man from Hau Giang decided to study violin and piano. Growing up in Australia and getting to know Western instruments such as piano and violin, Hao was attracted by Vietnamese traditional culture and national musical instruments.
"No matter where I go, whatever I do, I'm proud to be Vietnamese," said Hao Nguyen.
|Nguyen Vu Hao wants to introduce to international friends the Vietnamese monochord. Photo provided by Nguyen Vu Hao
In 2022, when he researched online about music theory, Hao came across a video of the Vietnamese monochord. After being mesmerized by the sound, Hao decided to order a monochord for self-study. When he was familiar with the instrument, Hao looked for a reference teacher, asking for more guidance.
Because he has a fundamental kind of music knowledge, Hao was a fast learner. Just like that, every day, Hao's monochord sound became more tender, warm, and clear. Hao recorded each training session and posted it on social networks. Therefore, Hao is even more proud of Vietnam's national music because of its special appeal and different rhythm compared to other types of music.
“I would like to introduce international friends to the dan bau - a unique ethnic musical instrument with a long history. I want to show my international friends a kind of music they have never heard before, only in Vietnam," Hao shared.
|Nguyen Vu Hao often performs at events gathering a large number of overseas Vietnamese as well as international friends. Photo provided by Nguyen Vu Hao
After two years of hard practice, Hao regularly performs at events gathering a large number of overseas Vietnamese as well as international friends. Hao performed Vietnamese classic songs, which touched the hearts of many expatriates far from home and international friends.
“Through performing, I try to promote Vietnamese music, so that Australians and other communities can better understand Vietnamese music and culture,” said Hao Nguyen.
Dream about free music classes in Australia
During his journey to participate in the 2023 Vietnam Summer Camp for outstanding young overseas Vietnamese people in July 2023, Nguyen Vu Hao brought the sound of the Vietnamese monochord to young expatriates around the world.
Besides, Hao also had the chance to hear several ethnic music genres, such as Xoan, Cheo, and Xam singing. Each musical instrument gives Nguyen Vu Hao a new experience, fostering his love of traditional music. Therefore, in order for ethnic music to be nurtured in foreign lands when returning to Australia, Hao Nguyen revealed that he will try to open a free ethnic music class.
|Nguyen Vu Hao plays the Vietnamese monochord at the 2023 Vietnam Summer Camp 2023, which brought together 120 outstanding young overseas Vietnamese people from many countries and territories around the world. Photo provided by Nguyen Vu Hao
“Culture is the soul and the quintessence of the nation. Our country has nature, beautiful landscapes, and rich traditions, culture, and history. I want to bring the Vietnamese monochord closer to foreign audiences as well as expatriates. This small action, I think will contribute to promoting the beauty of Vietnam. In the face of the explosion of many modern entertainments, bringing young people of the Vietnamese community to ethnic musical instruments is a meaningful work," said Hao Nguyen.
Hao's also teaches at St. Emiles Catholic primary school, Deanmore primary school, and Attadale primary school. Besides teaching the piano, Hao Nguyen also often inserts Vietnamese music or teaches children how to use the Vietnamese monochord.
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