• CD5
    • HÁT VĂN
    • Hát văn (văn singing) is a special traditional music associated with the Tứ Phủ religion, a local religion of the Kinh people in Vietnam. Hát văn or chầu văn means singing for reporting something to gods. In religion, it can be called cầm ca chúc thánh, which means “singing for praising gods”. There is a sentence in a book: “The Buddha loves the scripture and gods love singing”. The combination between singing and instrument playing, various repertoire and melodies, and strict regulations in performing ritual music helped hát văn become a professional traditional music, which strongly attracts listeners. The Tứ Phủ belief (the Four-God belief) is the environment in which hát văn has been nurtured and developed. The Tứ Phủ belief mentions the gods of the four components of cosmos, the world located in Heaven, Earth, Water, and Mountains. These gods are ranked differently. At the top of the temple is the Father of the Jade Emperor. Under the position of that god are Tam tòa Thánh Mẫu, ngũ vị vương Quan, tứ vị Chầu bà, ngũ vị Hoàng tử, Tứ Phủ thánh Cô, Tứ Phủ thánh Cậu, Ngũ Hổ, and ông Lốt. The Mẫu Liễu Hạnh God is considered to play the center role. Before becoming one of four Vietnamese gods, he was a normal person on the Earth with the hometown and the name.
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The people in charge of performing music in the Tứ Phủ belief are called cung văn. A person practicing the cung văn profession has to train for a long time, from five years to seven years. This person has to be excellent in writing Hán-Nôm words and organizing a worship ceremony and hát văn so that he/she can take care of a temple. The cung văn profession is transferred only to family members. Hát văn music is usually performed by two cung văn, including one person playing the nguyệt (moon-shaped lute) and the other playing percussion instruments. One of them or both can sing. In a big rite, the number of performers in a band can be four or five with the participation of the tranh (16-chord zither), the nhị (Vietnamese two-string fiddle), or flutes. The nguyệt originates from the yeuqin instrument of China. However, comparing to the yeuqin instrument, the nguyệt has a longer neck with eight to eleven frets. A neck with ten frets is the most popular. Two strings of this instrument used to be made of silk but now are made of nylon. The small string is called dây tiếu, and the bigger one is called dây đài. The nguyệt is usually tuned to dây bằng (the fifth interval) and dây lệch (the fourth interval). It is seldom tuned to dây tố lan (the minor seventh interval) and to dây song thanh (an octave).
1 Bỉ
Performer: Nguyễn Văn Sinh
04'09" PLAY
2 Thổng
Performer: Nguyễn Văn Sinh
12'07" PLAY
3 Phú bình
Performer: Nguyễn Văn Hiếu
10'11" PLAY
4 Phú chênh
Performer: Lê Văn Phụng
07'33" PLAY
5 Phú nói
Performer: Nguyễn Văn Sinh
16'08" PLAY
6 Dọc Luyện nhị cú
Performer: Nguyễn Văn Sinh
07'31" PLAY
7 Dồn
Performer: Phạm Quang Đạt
06'52" PLAY