History of Royal Court Music
Hue’s Royal Court Music originated in the reign of Ly Dynasty (1010 -1225) and rapidly developed under Le Dynasty (1427 -1778). At that time, that form of music had fully developed and become official music of the royal court.
However, Royal Court Music fell into recession at the end of Le Dynasty. Until Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945), the Kings brought that kind of music back to its official position. It had been in golden age and named after the ancient capital city of Nguyen Dynasty: Hue’s Royal Court Music. By 20th century, Hue’s royal court music gradually lost its popularity and was even seriously threatened to the survival as the collapse of Nguyen Dynasty and Vietnam War.
Types of Royal Court Music
Hue’s royal court music involves two subtypes: “Dai Nhac” and “Tieu Nhac”. “Dai Nhac” played an important role in religious liturgies (like Nam Giao Offering Ritual, Xa Tac Offering Ritual), coronations, funerals and so on. “Tieu Nhac” has smaller scale and is usually performed in anniversaries, official receptions, royal parties, etc.
Types of musical instruments
The success of refined music performance entails the fine cooperation of an array of instruments, ranging from string instruments such as “Dan Ty Ba” (pear-shaped lute with four strings), “Dan Nguyet” (moon-shaped two string lute), “Dan Nhi” (two string vertical fiddle) to wind instruments like “Ken Bau” (conical oboe), “Sao” (bamboo transverse flute), not mention to the appearance of some percussion instruments, drums of many kinds, for example.
Types of dances in Hue Royal Court Music
Hue Court Music also is various in dance performances. Currently, there are 11 types of court dances. For each special event, they have a particular dance combined with Royal Court Music. For example:
Bat Dat (used in Giao, Mieu, Xa Tac, historical kings and Confucius worshipping ceremonies);
The Mu – a Fairy or Guardian angel worshipping ceremonies
Thien xuan - birthday of the prince
Trinh Tuong Tap Khanh - used ceremonies for wealthy people and powerful country
Vu Phien - devoted to the King’s Mother, princesses at Royal weddings
Where to enjoy
The programs are performed daily to recreate culture and art space of Hue Royal Palace in Nguyen Dynasty with ancient palaces at:
Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theater
Address: Forbidden Citadel, Thuan Thanh Ward, Hue City
Telephone: (84-234) 3514 989/ 3522 070
Fax: (84-234) 3522 070
Minh Khiem Duong
Address: King Tu Duc Tomb, Thuong Ba Hamlet, Thuy Xuan Commune, Hue City
Telephone: (84-234) 3836 427
02 shifts/day, each shift lasts for 40 minutes
Morning: From 10 am to 10.40 am
Afternoon: From 15 pm to 15.40 pm
The ticket price is 200,000 VND per person.