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Viet Nam: Traditions of the South

Viet Nam: Traditions of the South

  • $1529

This recording, compiled and annotated by Vietnamese musicologist Trn Vn Khê, collects two styles of music from the southern region of Vietnam (defined in the liner notes as the area between the 12th parallel and the country’s southern tip at Pointe de Cà Mau). The inclusion of both formal ritual and religious music, including prayers and a spirit possession song, and secular or “entertainment” music, which allows for improvisation, creates a great sonic variety. One piece in the latter genre is the extremely popular “Longing for the Past.”

The music is performed on a variety of traditional Vietnamese instruments ranging from 2-string fiddles to 16-string zithers, flutes, end-blown double reeds, and percussion. Vocals are in the form of chants and lyrical songs.

This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music. More than 125 albums are being released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to make the series publicly available again, including more than a dozen never-released albums of musical traditions from around the globe.


1. Bai Trong Lay and Thet - 2:52
2. Buddhist Chants and Prayers / A Bonze of Saigon - 4:30
3. Bai Ha - 4:55
4. Respectful Invitation to the Goddess of the West - 8:38
5. Xang Xê - 4:28
6. Rao Nam, Hoi Ai-Oan - 3:30
7. Binh Ban - 3:46
8. The Wind Blows and Bends the Weeping Willow - 4:04
9. The Four Generations - 4:11
10. The Beautiful Tây Thi - 3:35
11. Longing for the Past - 4:13

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