||The genre Ru tends to perform within the familial environment, with a hypnotising nature that tends to be use to lull children.
The genre Hò originated from the working environment. The Southern part of Vietnam, where the waters are a vital element for the workers to sing on these flowing streams. Back then, the genre of hò đường thuỷ (singing on waterways) was rather popular. From traditional performing environment, hò eventually separated into different genres- hò trên cạn (hò on land) and hò dưới nước (hò on water). Based on the carrying content, reflected themes, hò continue to evolve into various genres to adapt with different forms and narratives (hò thơ, hò văn, hò tuồng, etc.)
The genre Lý is a common performance genre across all three regions of the country, although it could be the most popular in the Southern region. Pétrus Ky, a renowned Vietnamese scholar, once mentioned the saying “Southern region has lý, Huế region has hò, Northern region has thơ.” (Nam lý Huế hò Bắc thơ) as it points out how lý is a specialty of the Southern locals. In reality, lý not only has its mainstream popularity but also achieved a high level of craft and essence in traditional culture and professional life of the Southern region.
This project is sponsored by the British Council under the program Heritage of Future Past- A 2018 project which aims to conserve and cultivate the archive of Vietnamese music and film, especially focusing on the untapped values of these mediums that are under the threat of being forgotten. You can learn more about the Heritage of Future Past program via this link: https://www.britishcouncil.vn/cac-chuong-trinh/nghe-thuat/di-san-ket-noi.
Research by Mr. Le Hai Dang
Translated by Ms. Ha Hoang Minh Trang