Music as Culture Essay
For this assignment, I have chosen a type of music called “nhac tien chien” which is known as the Vietnamese pre-war music. Pre-war music is popular for stage music in Vietnam. This type of music is known as the origin of Vietnamese popular music due to the melancholy, harmonious, and sentimental, and to this day many romantic songs from the Vietnamese pre-war music are valuable in the culture. This type of music is also a respected song in the country, and it is very popular with the older generation that grew up during that time period, like my parents for example. One of the most popular “nhac tien chien” is called “Giot Mua Thu” (Autumn Rain Drops) by Dang The Phong, an iconic musician of the time period. My father who was a Lieutenant in the South Vietnamese Army, would tell me war stories all the time when I was younger. It was his way of preserving the hardships his generation endured in the Vietnam War and this song is also one of his favorites. Vietnam has a long history of wars before and after the Vietnam War. Peace did not seem to last very long until the 90s. This song was a reflection for those times of unrest in the country. When dissecting the music, “Giot Mua Thu,” (Autumn Rain Drops), I believe that Autumn is referring to wars that come and go. Wars seemed like they were seasonal to the people back then. Rain drops are the tears shed for sadness that comes with the bloodshed. The people long for peace, hoping one day it will come. As the wars drag on, they are still hanging on to that hope. The instrumental intro gives us a somber feeling yet gives us a sense of anticipation of things to come. There are many variations throughout the years, but the best instruments used for this song is the Dang Bao (a monochord) and Dan Nguyet (the moon lute). The sounds from these instruments are unique from one another and adds more feelings to the song. The combination of these sounds and the singer’s powerful,...
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