Hue Court Music is the last vestige of Vietnamese Court Music. It contains all quintessence of Vietnamese Court Music trend that has been established and developed over 1,000 years; therefore Hue Court Music is identical with Vietnamese Court Music.
However, the term "Hue Court Music" also indicates to some concrete aspects as such as its historical period (the Nguyen Dynasty - the last Vietnamese feudal dynasty), the site of its being and preservation (Hue, the capital of Vietnam under Nguyen Dynasty) and, as a matter of fact, its evolution in the back - ground general features of the entire Vietnamese Court Music as well as its specific features demonstrated through its achievements and contributions
Achievements and contributions
Hue Court Music succeeded and enhanced the achievements of Thang Long Court Music to a new height. This succession and enhancement are shown in:
- Maintaining some court orchestras of the previous dynasties (the most distinctive of which are Tran Dynasty's Tieu nhac and Dai nhac) and creating rich variations based on Le Dynasty’s orchestras;
- The continuing use of many common musical instruments of Thang Long Royal Music (such as, nguyet, tranh, ty ba, nhi, ho, dan sat, ong senh, phach ban used since Ly Dynasty and bien chung, bien khanh, huan, tri, chuc, etc, related to the Bat am orchestras of Chinese type of the Late Le Dynasty).
- Maintaining and diversifying some previous court dances (such as Luc cung, Tam tinh chuc tho, Tu linh, especially exploiting the lanterns dances folk and court rituals of the Viet in the North, as well as "civil" and "military" dances in Tran and Ho dynasties) at the same time creating many new dances;
- Creating a new type of chamber music (don ca Hue) and enhancing Vietnamese instrumental music to a new height both in performance techniques and forms of ensemble;
- Succeeding the Dang ngoai "tuong" and bringing it to flourish simultaneously forming a new specific kind of tuong: the "tuong Kinh" (tuong of the capital city) in the style of "tuong van ";
- Succeeding the system of tone regulations of the Hong Duc time under Le Dynasty in the second half of the 15111 century (expressed in the classification of the two music repertoires the Khach or Bac (Northern) and the Nam (Southern) and developing music language and theory (the most attractive is "hoi ai" (sadness in the Southern repertoire of Hue);
- Continuing the traditions of learning, adopting and Vietnam sing foreign music elements that were shaped in Vietnamese music in general and in Thang Long Court Music in particular (the conception of YinYang, Five Elements, Eight-Sign Figure "five modes and seven tones", music characters and certain musical instrument, etc).