August Comes to Hue:  Court music in the Ancient Capital

Feb 28·2 min read

Arriving in Hue in August, the ancient capital of Vietnam opened its doors to welcome us with a light rain and a fragrance that my friend called "Hue's very unique smell." Completely different from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, Hue's streets appear peaceful, with the sound of car horns rarely heard. The Perfume River sweeps away the worries and chaos of "bringing the cake home."

World Cultural Heritage of Vietnam

First-time visitors to Hue often feel excitement and underlying peace in this city, passing by places that can be easily named:

  • The Ancient Citadel goes back to the Nguyen Dynasty
  • Tombs of ancient Emperors
  • Princess Huyen Tran Temple; Huong river
  • Thien Mu Pagoda

Jade Emperor Palace Museum

However, all the magnificence of the royal court seems to overshadow a mysterious art, called Nha Nhac - Vietnamese court music, recognized as the outstanding work of Hue especially and Vietnam as well. Men in general.

Di Sản Văn Hóa Thế Giới của Việt Nam

Recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage, "Nha Nhac" is a unique art form of the Ancient Capital City of Hue, Thua Thien-Hue province.

"Elegant Music" - Definition and History

UNESCO defines Nha Nhac as "elegant music," a variety of music and dance styles performed at the Vietnamese court from the 15th to the mid-20th century. This elegant music often appears in the opening and closing ceremonies of ceremonies related to anniversaries, religious festivals, coronations, funerals, and official receptions.

At present, this music is performed in many countries around the world as a respect for Vietnamese culture.

Nha Nhac - National Music Symbol

Considered the only national music of the country, Nha Nhac had special importance during the feudal period, symbolizing the longevity of the king and the prosperity of the dynasty. Highly appreciated by the Vietnamese monarchy, it was performed in important Royal ceremonies during the Nguyen Dynasty.

Nhã Nhạc

As a priceless treasure of Vietnam, Nha Nhac is proud to have its own royal orchestra with the most precious instruments such as wind instruments, string instruments, membrane instruments, etc. The performance featured singers, dancers and musicians in elaborate costumes.

Diverse Performers and Talented Artists

Court music had three forms - Dai Nhac, Tieu Nhac (including orchestras and works mainly preserved in folk festivals) and court dances.

Each performance tells a unique and creative story, reflecting the lives, hopes and dreams of people in that era. The performer must maintain high concentration and meticulously follow each step of the ritual.

Culture and Art on Stage Duyet Thi Duong

Fan dancing is often performed for the Queen, Princess, and Princess of the Nguyen Dynasty at banquets and weddings to praise love life and wish family harmony and happiness.

Other performances include Invisible Boundaries - ghost hunting, depicting a world full of monsters with a disregard for morality, and 'Lantern Dance' - a dance used in Buddhist rituals, which was later adopted to celebrate the birthday of the Emperor and the royal family.

Visitors to Hue can also enjoy this type of academic music on one of the boat trips on the Perfume River. It's worth enjoying as a way to learn about and discover the richness of Vietnam's heritage.

Leave Your Comment