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"Sweet lullabies"

lanhnguyen
Submitted by: lanhnguyen Length of trip: Less than a week
Trip taken: January 2008 No. of people on trip: 1 person

Locations visited:

Far East and Asia: Vietnam

Trip Features:
Culture: Museums, Music, History

lanhnguyen took this trip with her Grandkids and also recommends this trip for those traveling with their:
> Grandkids
> Significant other/Spouse

The cost category of this trip was: moderate

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Most Vietnamese children are familiar with lullabies. Whether sung by our mothers, grandmothers or older sisters sweet, gentle lullabies are of our cultural memory.

Among Vietnam’s ethnic groups, the Kinh majority has the moat lullabies. In northern, central and southern Vietnam there are at least three distinct styles of Kinh lullabies. The stylistic differences are immediately apparent, and correspond with the tonal systems of Kinh people in those three regions. Depending on the region, the same verse is sung in three different ways.

Lullabies usually employ six-eight meter or some variation – a folk poetry style that is easy to compose and remember. A six-eight sentence pair is considered the minimum unit of lullaby. Structurally, lullabies usually begin with sounds typical to their region. In the North they begin with “à ơi”. In the Central Region the tone is different: “ạ ơi”. In the South, lullabies begin with “ầu ơ”. Therefore, in the South, lullabies are “ầu ơ” songs.

Regarding rhythms, lullabies are duple – time, smooth and monotonous. They match the rhythm of swinging cradle and are designed to make one sleepy. Contre – temples, syncope, and sudden and intricate changes in melody do not suit the songs purpose.

Lullaby melodies have a rather narrow scope, enough to convey the lyrics and to create a rather a stable feeling in a few lines. To lull children to sleep, one cannot use very tuneful melodies. To sing in a high tone, one must sing loudly, which is also inappropriate for lulling babies. Lullabies must be easy to sing.

But despite these limitations, lullabies still contain genuine artistic value. A well – sung lullaby can only their social function of soothing babies, lullabies give people a chance to show their capabilities in terms of music and lyrics. One may use lullabies to express one’s innermost feelings, which may not be revealed in daily life. This type of folk music has an interesting “double role”, allowing people to better understand their relatives. This must influence relationship between spouses, in-laws, etc. this tactful expression of feelings is typical of traditional Vietnamese behavior.

Being heard during infancy, lullabies have a pioneering function in traditional music education. Listening to their mother’s lullabies, children may be too young to understand the meanings and significance of the lyrics, but they absorb the traditional melodies as they fall sleep, day after day. This creates a permanent impression, resulting in the specific character tics of a community or nation.

Their voices of love and tenderness, migrants sing nostalgically of their home, garden, river, familiar bamboo hedges…

“À ơi…! Father’s grace is as high as the mountain

Mother’s love is an endless as a stream

Only by respecting and caring for your parents with your whole heart

Can you fulfill your duty … À ơi …!”

“À ơi … One only realizes the height of the mountain after climbing its peak …

And only when raising a child dose one realizes a mother’s hardships!”

Like sketch of the national character, lullabies evoke memories of old tomes. They are windows into the subconscious national soul, rousing love for the country in an expatriate, helping him to determine and maintain his origins and to avoid the corruption of his national consciousness and divergence from his community.

Not long ago. I taught a Chinese student studying Vietnamese lullabies; she was very surprised by the fact that Vietnam has this kind of melody, having no knowledge of melodies used specifically to full bandies in her homeland. It is a source of pride that Vietnam has retained this part of our ancestors’ heritage.

This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel

For original article, please visit:

http://vacationstovietnam.com/lastest-travel-news/sweet-lullabies.html

http://travelagencyinvietnam.com

http://vietnamtravelmagazine.com


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