Xoan singing of Phú Thọ province, Viet Nam
Inscribed in 2017 (12.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
As a performing art, Xoan singing of Pho Tho province includes singing, dancing, drumming and clapper beating. It is closely linked to the worship of the Hung Kings, a belief rooted in the ancestor worship practice of the Viet people. Bearers and practitioners form four guilds, in which the male and female Trum play the most important role; they preserve the songs, select students, transmit the singing styles and repertoires and organize practices. They are also active in introducing and teaching Xoan singing at the four Xoan guilds, and in clubs and guilds. As a community performing art, Xoan singing fosters cultural understanding, community cohesion and mutual respect. The Vietnamese Institute for Musicology has collected 31 Xoan songs, and thanks to the efforts of several Xoan artists four guilds have been established. 33 dedicated clubs also exist, and seminars are held to expand knowledge of Xoan. Leaders and senior Xoan artists transmit the singing orally, combined with the use of written songs and audio and visual recordings. Experienced artists also teach Xoan singing to members of clubs and to music teachers in schools, who then transmit this knowledge to other club members and students.