Hue's Court Music - The World's Intangible Cutural Heritage
With the meaning of “elegant”, Hue’s Court music mentions the music performed in annual occasions such as ceremonies, regional anniversaries as well as enthronements, funerals or official receptions. Among the diversified types of music, Court music is the only one that owns the National scope.

With the meaning of “elegant”, Hue’s Court music mentions the music performed in annual occasions such as ceremonies, regional anniversaries as well as enthronements, funerals or official receptions. Among the diversified types of music, Court music is the only one that owns the National scope. 

Hue's Royal Ballet 

Although the origin of Court Music was formed in 13th century, it didn’t reach its flourished time till Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). The emperors under this Dynasty considered it the official type of music in the Court so as to show off their power and longevity. Court music then became one vital part and was performed in about 100 festivals annually. Being diversified in spiritual content, Court music was considered a type of communication and means of showing respect towards emperors and gods.   

In addition, Court music was also a means to deliver philosophical ideas and aspects of the universe of Vietnamese people. 

In general, the term court music doesn’t mean the musical system of the Court only, but also includes actual performances. It was featured with a number of musical instruments and was only shown in special occasions with its own singers and dancers. The drum plays the main role in the orchestra and each member has to pay their highest attention to follow all the stages in a lasting ceremonial.    

  

(Source: tranvankhe.vn)

The existence of Court music was strongly threatened with upheavals in the 20th century, especially the collapse of monarchy and the continual wars. Losing the imperial scene, this traditional music lost one of its original functions. Nowadays, with the assistance of the Government and the local community, some old musicians are trying to resurrect this traditional music and deliver their skills to younger generations. Some remained forms of Court music are now the inspiration for Vietnamese temporary music. 

On 7-11-2003, the General Manager of UNESCO, Mr. Kiochiro Matsuura officially announced at a Ceremony in Paris that Court music of Viet Nam is one of the 28 cultural intangible masterpieces of mankind that were passed down to other generations orally. This was the 1st intangible heritage of Viet Nam to be included in this list. And this was the rewards for 10 years of preparation and tirelessly striving of the Central Committee, of the local authorities and of the Citadel’s Relics Conservation Center.

www.thuathienhue.gov.vn
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