Don Ca Tai Tu acknowledged as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage
The UNESCO’s 8th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has decided to acknowledge Vietnam’s Don Ca Tai Tu as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humankind.
A Southern traditional musical art form of Don Ca Tai Tu plays an indispensable part in the normal life of Vietnam’s Southerners. Appeared at the end of the 19th century, Don Ca Tai Tu has been a mixture of ceremonial singing, between the Nha Nhac (Royal Court Music of Hue) and Vietnamese folk music.
The kind of art form has been passed down from generation to generation throughout 21 southern provinces. Thanks to the cultural exchanges between a diversity of ethnic groups, Don Ca Tai Tu is constantly recreated and centralizing to encourage the mutual respect and harmony.
The recognition of Don Ca Tai Tu will not only promote cultural exchanges among communities, musicians and researchers, but also raise local’s awareness of how important the cultural heritages are.
A Don Ca Tai Tu orchestra is often performed by a group of young people, who are friends or neighbors. They gather together after work and then practice Don Ca Tai Tu. Amateur singers are usually followed by string and percussion instruments, such as dan co (two stringed fiddle), dan tranh (16 string zither) and dan bau (monochord). The style is improvisational with the musicians playing with basic tunes, learnt by heart, varying the ‘skeletal melody’ and rhythmic patterns of the pieces.
Together with the Worship of Hung Kings, Giong Festival, Quan Ho Folk Music, Nha Nhac (Hue Royal Court Music) along with the Space of Gong Culture, Don Cai Tai Tu is the 6th Vietnamese intangible cultural heritage to be honored by UNESCO.
If you wish to enjoy the kind of amateur music Don Ca Tai Tu, a Mekong delta tour is the ideal option for you.