• CD3
    • Hát Xoan (Xoan singing) or cửa đình singing (singing at the village communal house) starts in spring during singing and dancing performances to worship the god in the village communal house. According to legend Hát Xoan appeared in the time of Kings Hùng, in the ancestral land of Hùng Vương—Phú Thọ, a province in the midland area of Vietnam. Gathering of Xoan singers who worship in spring called Xoan guild or families of Xoan. In a Xoan guild, there are between six and eighteen members. Men, called kép (instrumentalist), have to know how to beat a drum and sing the lead. Women are called đào (female singer). Female singers must not only be beautiful but also be able sing and dance well. The leader, called ông trùm, is an expert in art and master in all Xoan singing customs . He is also responsible for organizing and training instrumentalists and singers. Nowadays, in Phú Thọ province, there are four original Xoan guilds, in Kim Đới, Phù Đức, Thét, and An Thái villages. The Xoan guilds start their two-month spring itinerary 6 Jan (lunar calendar).
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Xoan singing for worship is structured into three singing stages: Stage one is a ritual opening that includes songs such as Giáo trống, Giáo pháo, Thơ nhang, and Đóng đám. The Xoan guild of An Thái village opens with the song Chào vua while Xoan guild of Kim Đới village opens with Mời vua. Stage two is the performance of fourteen songs (known as quả cách) such as Kiều Giang cách, Nhàn ngâm cách, Tràng mai cách, Ngư tiều canh mục cách, Đối dẫy cách, Hồi liên cách, Tứ mùa cách, Quả cách is an ancient term. Quả means a long song while cách is a method of singing a specific song. Cách is the way ancient Confusion scholars expressed their feelings and conceptions of society and nature. The content of these fourteen songs is about wishing the four classes of people— scholars, farmers, craftsmen, and merchants—prosperity and fame. Stage three is a love-exchange song, including songs such as Bợm gái, Bỏ bộ, Xin hoa đố chữ, Gài hoa, Hát đúm, and Giã cá. The content reflects the desire of a couple’s love. Therefore, the items in this stage are usually performed by Xoan singers with local male villagers. The cultural exchange between Xoan guild and local male villagers make the singing session more attractive. However, Xoan singing was under the threat of being lost over time. On 24 November 2011, Xoan singing of Phú Thọ province was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage In Need of Urgent Safeguarding of Humanity. In this CD, we selected and arranged some Xoan singing songs recorded and kept at Vietnamese Institute for Musicology in 1959.
1 Thơ nhang
Performers: Lê Văn Chức and Xoan guild
04'37" PLAY
2 Đóng đám
Performers: Nguyễn Thị Lập, Lê Thị Điển and Xoan guild
02'51" PLAY
3 Kiều giang cách
Performers: Nguyễn Văn Đô, Nguyễn Thị Lập, Lê Thị Điển and Xoan guild
06'09" PLAY
4 Nhàn ngâm cách
Performers: Lê Văn Chức, Nguyễn Thị Lập, Lê Thị Điển and Xoan guild
04'32" PLAY
5 Tràng mai cách
Performers: Nguyễn Văn Vát, Lê Thị Điển, Nguyễn Thị Lập and Xoan guild
03'39" PLAY
6 Ngư tiều canh mục cách
Performers: Nguyễn Văn Vát, Lê Thị Điển, Nguyễn Thị Lập and Xoan guild
08'02" PLAY
7 Xin hoa - đố chữ
Performers: Folk artist group of Phù Đức Xoan guild.
02'47" PLAY
8 Bỏ bộ singing
Performers: Nguyễn Thị Lập, Lê Thị Điển and Xoan guild
10'40" PLAY