South Vietnam is the place that the creator gives special treatment. Here has fat land, has gentle rivers and has fresh air. Here is the rice store of all country, is home of many fruit trees and many shrimps, fishes. Here bears honest, simple and liberal people, and here bears unique mental products. One of those products is Đờn Ca Tài Tử Nam Bộ.
Đờn Ca Tài Tử Nam Bộ is an amateur music and song style popular in South Vietnam. This art type has origin from Hue imperial palace music, and ceremonial music that came from Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai of Central Vietnam. However, it has changed very much when going into south Vietnam. It has been popular in South Vietnam since the late nineteenth century. Formerly, although the farmers in South Vietnam worked very hard, but in a year, they also had free time, they have demand of musical art. They gathered into small group to played music and sang for pleasure. Hue imperial music and ceremonial music was improved to be in accord with the soul of the Southerners, people were far from home (Southerners came from Central Vietnam).
Musical instrument of Đờn Ca Tài Tử Nam Bộ consisted of Monochord, Vietnamese two-chord fiddle, Vietnamese two-chord guitar, 16-chrd zither. Afterward, there was added guitar. Today, electric and electronic technology is introduced to make sound clearer, louder and more beautiful.
Players are amateur musicians, singers. In free time, on occasion of birthday, wedding, anniversary of death, they play for joy. Players do not also need to wear clothes so finical. Playing space is usually in a warm living room or in a front yard beside the orchard with sound of wind and perfume of fruit. Playing space is sometimes a boat floating on a river. Amateur music has over one hundred tunes. There are sad tunes and there are joyful tunes. However, singers usually choose sad tunes to sing. Songs come from fold tales, classical dramas or inspiration about country and its people. Authors are the masters having knowledge about music and literature.
Talking Đờn Ca Tài Tử Nam Bộ, any Vietnamese also knows Cao Văn Lầu musician. Mr Cao Văn Lầu was born on 22-12-1892 and dead on 13-8-1976. He is the author of the song “Dạ cổ hoài lang” (At night, hear drum sounds, miss husband). Music part of the song was developed gradually into Vọng cổ (Hear drum sounds, look forward to someone) tune. We can say the ancestor of Vọng cổ tune that many people love is musician Cao Van Lầu. To show deep gratitude to a refined talent musician, people built the statue of him in Bac Lieu province.
Recent years, in order to satisfy requirement of tourists, so amateur groups gather into mid-professional Đàn Ca Tài Tử clubs. Beside main job, they serve music and song when having demand. Coming to tourist sites in Ho Chi Minh City or the provinces of South Vietnam, if you want to enjoy Đàn Ca Tài Tử Nam Bộ, you can book before one day so that they are ready for your requirement.
Generally, Đờn Ca Tài Tử Nam Bộ is a special music and song style in South Vietnam. It was recognized to be a world culture heritage by the UNESCO. It has been deeply in the heart of the South Vietnam people, and will exist for ever.