Hue Royal Court Music (Vietnamese: Nhã Nhạc Cung Đình Huế) is a kind of scholarly music of the monarchical dynasties in Vietnamese society for more than 10 centuries. This traditional music kind aims to create the solemnity for the court ceremonies. Studying Vietnamese culture, we cannot ignore this type of art.
According to the history books, Nhã Nhạc was born in the Ly dynasty (1010-1225) and settled in the Le dynasty (1427-1788). At that time, a music organization was established, under the control of the music officer. There were various types of music for each ceremony. However, at the end of the Le dynasty, the royal music gradually went into recession and faded. In the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), in the half early nineteenth century, social conditions allowed, the royal music grew again. At the end of the nineteenth century, when the country fell into the foreign invasion, the role of the court faded, court music and rituals also decreased and faded. On August 31, 1945, on the Ngo Mon Gate, the last emperor of the Nguyen dynasty left the throne. Hue royal court music temporarily disintegrated.
Hue royal court music reached its fullest level in the half early 19th century. There were many music types , each type was suitable for a situation such as Đại Triều Nhạc (being a music kind used in important meetings in the court. In Nguyen Dynasty, it happens twice a month.), Thường Triều Nhạc (Being a music kind used in common meetings in the court. In Nguyen dynasty, it happened four times a month.), Miếu Nhạc (being a music kind used in temples in the courts), Yến Nhạc (a music kind used in the parties in the court), the music used when the king was crowned, the music used on the king’s and Queen’s birthdays, the music used when the king died, the music used when welcoming ambassadors, the music used to pray the God (the Creator).
Nowadays, the feudalism in Vietnam has stepped back more than a half-century, Hue Royal Court Music is no longer a tool of the royal court. However, because of its high artistic value and historical length, it is appreciated by Vietnamese people and the world people. At 15:30, November 7th, 2003, Hue Royal Music was listed UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The state and people of Vietnam are trying to maintain this cultural heritage. Every day at the imperial palace, there are performances of Royal Court Music. Visiting the imperial palace you should arrange the time to see this special music kind.