The moon lute (đàn nguyệt) role in the hát văn repertoire
Music and ritual in Vietnamese possession cult, hầu bóng or nhập đồng
LE Ylinh, Leiden, the Netherlands, September 2012
The moon lute is the instrument used by hat van master-musicians, it is also present in most of genres of instrumental ensembles in traditional Vietnamese music such as chamber music, drama music and so on. However, when one asks a Vietnamese what the moon lute is, or what does it represent, his answer will no doubt be : “that’s the hát văn music instrument”. Why ? In this speech, I’ll try to give some answers to this simple but sophisticated question.
The origin of this instrument is known as being China; however I’ll try to present the moon lute repertoire of hat van masters in the ritual and Vietnamese context. We can see that there is finally not more many links between the Chinese ones and the one used by Vietnamese masters.
The material to be studied was collected during my fieldwork in Vietnam with the greatest hát văn music masters between 1986 and 1989.
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