Ca Trù

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catruCa trù (also known as “hát ả đào”, “hát nhà trò”, “hát nói”…) is one kind of folk music with origins in northern Vietnam. Ca trù firstly appeared in 11th century, under Hau Ly dynasty and it has been preserved for the past 10 centuries. Ca trù is named on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009.


Ca trù groups often have three performers: a female singer and two instrumentalists. The female singer uses breathing techniques and vibrato to create unique ornamented sounds while playing the clappers (phách) or striking a wooden box. One of two instrumentalists plays the đàn đáy, a long-necked, three-stringed lute used almost exclusively for the ca trù and the other is the spectator or “quan viên” (often a scholar or connoisseur of the art) who strikes a trống chầu (praise drum) in praise (or disapproval) of the singer’s performance, usually with every passage of the song. Some Ca trù performances also include dance

The varied forms of Ca trù fulfill different social purposes, including worship singing, singing for entertainment, singing in royal palaces and competitive singing. 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.

Here is the performance schedule for tourists who would like to watch and listen to Ca Tru in Hanoi:

Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Address: Hanoi Ancient House -87 Ma May St, Hoan Kiem Dist – Hanoi – Vietnam

Fee: 10 USD per person

Call number (for reservation ticket): 01223 266 897 / 0906 266 897 / 04. 3853.6732

The program always changes for every concert.

The show in 87 Ma May was put on by ca tru traditional band trio Ca Trù Thang Long. The band includes 83-year-old singer Nguyen Thi Chuc, dan day (long-necked lute-like instrument with three silk strings and 10 frets) player Nguyen Phu De, 88, and their student, singer Pham Thi Hue.

The following clip is a part of a performance night of Ca Trù Thang Long band in 87 Ma May – Hanoi:

ca tru

Ca trù performance

clappers

Phách (clappers)

đàn đáy

Đàn đáy (a long-necked, three-stringed lute)

trống chầu (drum)

Trống chầu (praise drum)

Quach Thi Ho (June 11, 1909 – January 4, 2001) – the most famous Ca Tru singer in Vietnam.

One of Ca Trù performance nights in 87 Ma May Str. – Ha Noi

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