Exploring Traditional Theatrical Music in Vietnam: Cai Luong and Beyond

Exploring Traditional Theatrical Music in Vietnam: Cai Luong and Beyond

Like verse In Chinese and a variety of European languages, the traditional Vietnamese poetry rhymes. Rhyme, however, differs from the rhyming system in English in which the same syllables must be used.

Like other forms of music, different Vietnamese generations have modified poetry according to their perceptions and experience. The fusion of poetry and music has been a major feature of Vietnamese culture.


Vietnamese poems are rhymed just like in Chinese or many European languages. Rhyme in Vietnamese poetics relies upon meter, as well as structure-based back rhyme (rhyming the last vowel of one line with the first vowel of the next).

Apart from the songs, they also communicate customs and values. Xam songs from the 14th century for instance, represent a vast range of village traditions. These songs show love for family, respect and loyalty to parents and also the value of truthfulness and good will in maintaining peace.

In the end, Vietnamese poetry and music serve as powerful links between past and current and connect the country’s many styles of life. Also, it is a means of self-expression that allows performers to face the obstacles that come up throughout their lives.


The cultural preservation of Vietnamese music has been carried on by a number of groups and individuals from small towns to university. They’ve set up clubs, associations and schools to encourage tuong, a classic performing art which involves acting, singing and movement. This is a vital part of the culture of Vietnam, specifically in the worship of mother goddesses and ancestral deities. The performers must sing well and enunciating their roles.

The music and poetry have many harmonic elements. The rhyme of Soan van 6 Chan troi sang poetry or folklore music is typically complex, with reversals of tones. Reversals are used to preserve the musical quality of the songs.

Vietnamese music is also distinguished because of its improvisation and ornamentation. Vietnamese music is also infusing certain influences from abroad.

Cultural importance

Music’s meta-cultural quality and poetry creates a path throughout the world. These time capsules capture essence of Vietnamese the past and its identity.

Like verse like verse Chinese, Vietnamese poetry has both meter and rhyme. The number of syllables in a word determines the tone class and the tones are characterized by vowel sound: the flat (thu, sanh and tai) and sharp (cn and tong).

Traditional folk songs and musical designs varied from country to country. They were accompanied by distinct cultural aspects of the various ethnic groups and themes ranging from the beauty of nature to the daily hardships of life. They were performed with classical instruments, such as the dan nguyet, or all-instrument dan ba (Vietnamese monochord). It was a popular music that survived the post-war period of resettlement and is preserved to this day https://bancanbiet.vn/.


In the period of colonialism, Vietnamese court poetry and music were influenced by Chinese influences. In the years since Vietnam was opened in 1975, Vietnamese poetry and music are incorporating different styles from across the globe.

Different from English and classical Greek and Latin verse where syllables are classified by their stress levels, in Vietnamese poetry, syllables are distinguished according to their count as well as their tones. Within a sequence of controlled poetry, there are 6 distinct tones, some of which are flat while others are sharp.

The Cai Luong opera, as an instance, has a foundation in Don ca Tai Tu and Mekong Delta folk songs, nevertheless, it incorporates elements from older Vietnamese stories, Nom poetry, and books about Vietnam culture in addition to the ancient Indian, Egyptian Roman, and Japanese stories. The distinctive feature of this form of Vietnamese music is its cultural blend.

Culture preservation

The depth of Vietnam’s traditional music originates from a combination of various ethnicities and styles. Although they share the same genres of music, each ethnic group has distinctive rhythm and manner of music. The lullabies of Kinh individuals, for instance is distinct from those of Dao, Muong or Dao.

Additionally, a wide range of traditional instruments and different styles of performance support these styles and traditions. Apart from cheo and the tuong genre, these include cai cuong (traditional theatrical music) as well as quan ho water puppet, “ly” singing, and nha nhac – Hue royal court music dating back to the Tran and Nguyen Dynasties. UNESCO has recognised these music masterpieces as an integral part of the cultural heritage. The music masterpieces of these works of art are a treasure trove for anyone who wishes to safeguard the unique cultural heritage of a particular country.