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VIETNAMESE TRADITIONAL CULTURE – CHAU VANCultural Tour in Vietnam

The Vietnamese are very religious but not fanatical. Compared to other categories, cult music was not widely developed. The most significant cult song type is Hat Chầu Văn. This is a kind of incantation music (although it was classified as ritual music), but its purpose was to hypnotize the person who was estranged from the spirits through musical airs, rhythms and lyrics.

Hat Chầu Văn combines trance singing and dancing; a religious form of art used for extolling the merits of beneficent deities or deified national heroes. Its music and poetry are mingled with a variety of rhythms, pauses, tempos, stresses and pitches.

It is in essence a cantillation where the tunes and rhythm depend on the contents of the sung text and may be linked together into a suite, used in relation to a mythical happening, with hints at some features of modern life.

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