Xoan singing of Phú Thọ Province, Viet Nam

Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

© Vietnamese Institute for Musicology, Vietnam
Xoan singing is practised in Phú Thọ Province, Viet Nam, in the first two months of the lunar year. Traditionally, singers from Xoan guilds performed songs in sacred spaces such as temples, shrines and communal houses for the spring festivals. There are three forms of Xoan singing: worship singing for the Hùng kings and village guardian spirits; ritual singing for good crops, health and luck; and festival singing where villagers alternate male and female voices in a form of courtship. Each Xoan music guild is headed by a leader, referred to as the ''trùm;'' male instrumentalists are called ''kép'' and female singers, ''đào.'' Although only four traditional guilds remain, in recent years the singing has been taken up by clubs and other performing groups. Xoan singing is accompanied by dancing and musical instruments such as clappers and a variety of drums. The music has a spare structure with few ornamental notes and simple rhythms, and Xoan is characterized by a modulation between singers and instrumentalists at the perfect fourth interval. Knowledge, customs and techniques for singing, dancing and playing drum and clappers are traditionally transmitted orally by the guild leader. However, the majority of bearers are now over sixty years in age, and the numbers of people who appreciate Xoan singing have decreased, particularly among the younger generations.
Performance of King-worship singing -a ritual celebrated annually at Xoan singing guilds in Phu Tho province
Wooden carved board Dance in Xoan singing at Hung Lo communal house, Hung Lo commune, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province.
Mó cà (Groping fish) singing - the item in the festive singing of Xoan communities performed by the youth of An Thai Xoan guild in Kim Duc commune, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province
Mrs. Phan Thi Diem and folk artists of many generations from Kim Dai Xoan guild, Kim Duc commune, Viet Tri city,teaching the youth Xoan singing.
Mr. Le Xuan Ngu - the leader of Phu Duc Xoan guild, Kim Duc commune, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province, teaching the youth Xoan singing and dance at his own house.
Bói Xoan guild born in 1932, transmitting dances in Xoan singing to his neighboring children.
Eight out of thirty one folk artists, who practiced Xoan singing before 1945, still having good health to teach Xoan singing in the community.
Folk artists and organizations' representatives, participating in the training class of Inventorying Xoan singing of Phu Tho province in Kim Duc commune, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province
Communities' representatives, signing the commitment to Promotion and Preservation of Xoan singing of Phu Tho under the witness of the representatives from some national agencies, Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc provinces at the conference Inventorying Xoan singing of Phu Tho.
Mr. Nguyen Minh Triet - the President of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, giving regard to the folk artists of Kim Doi Xoan guild in Kim Duc commune, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province.