Welcome to SaigonStrings!
Traditional Vietnamese Instruments
If you have an interest in playing musical
instruments of South-East Asia, with an interest in Viet Nam traditional music,
this is the place for you. Saigon Strings, is a
website devoted to interesting and unusual musical
instruments made exclusively in Vietnam.
Read on for more information on what Saigon Strings has to offer,
or click on one of the instrument specific links. We specialize in Dan Tranh, Bau, Bau eBook, Dan Bau English manual, eBook, Dan Co, Kim, Dan Nhi, Dan Sen, Doan, sun lute,Cay Don, Gao, Ty Ba, Nguyet,Dan Day, vong co guitars, tradiitonal instruments, Vietnamese ethnic music, instrument replacement parts, vietnamese string instruments". We maintain a pricelist only for instrument accessoriess and replacement part, but not the instruments themselves. Please Inquire For Prices
Different string, wind and percussion instruments existed in Viet Nam since the Bronze age. The Bronze drums and woodwind instruments have been excavated around Dong Son, which depicted dancers performing to the accompaniment of musical instruments. During the millenium of Chinese colonization and Viet Nam's long Southward march, Viet Nam Music had been influenced by Chinese and also Hindu Kingdom of Champa. Court music emerged during Le Dynasty (15th century) when a Vietnamese mandarin established music categories to be played at different religious and social ocasions. Plays and water puppets, whether at court or popular theaters, were accompanied by an orchestra. Under Emperor Quang Trung (18th century), theater spreaded and court music developed rapidly. Diverse orchestral groups were reorganized and reunified to various theatrical orchestras and ensemble of eight instrumental timbrels - Phuong Bat Am. Form and variations, harmony between spacing and tempo which based on a pentatonic scale made Vietnamese music technically very complex.
There are a great number of musical instruments in Vietnam but there are only two that are purely Vietnamese in origin: The Dan Day and the Dan Bau. We will discuss the Dan Bau here. This instrument is part of the zither family and has only one chord. The chord is stretched between the instrument's body made of bamboo placed horizontally and a handle placed vertically, equipped with a wooden resonator (or a hollowed out coconut or a dried gourd ). The resonant case is bottomless and made up generally of three planks. To play this instrument, the musician needs a bamboo stick. Thank to the light touch of the stick on the chord at the precise place and to the pressure exerted with the left hand on the handle, this enables him to produce sounds resembling the inflections of the human voice and subtle ornaments. Melodious and extremely soft, it was in the past the favorite instrument of traveling blind musicians Click to Watch Blind Musicians Video . Nowadays, it is not only the first class soloist instrument but also one of the instruments used by the orchestra of popular theaters.