Ca Tru Traditional Singing

The world’s intangible heritage

Ca trù (literally mean Tally Card Song) was a special type of music with its unique style that cannot be mixed with others. Its name is also various in each province in Vietnam like: ả đào, cửa đình, cửa quyền, cô đầu, nhà tơ, nhà trò or ca công.

Ca Tru Singing

Ca Tru is derived from the folk song attached to several folk games and folk shows. Therefore it is considered as a special synthesis art containing diversified, sophisticated and harmonious features mixed from poetry and music, sometimes from dancing.

Appeared primarily in century 11th, and started to be popularized nationwide since century 15th, but not until century 20th that it was well-known to the world thanked to the voice of singer Quách Thị Hồ (1909 – 2001). Since then, many musicians, scholars from many famous universities on the world started to study about Ca Tru. Fortunately, going through so much up and downs in its development among the historical events, Ca Tru nowadays still be preserved and developed to the high – level in term of aesthetics, and also confirm its important position in both Vietnam and all over the world. It is honorably to be listed into the World’s intangible heritage by UNESCO in 2009.

At it peak time in 2011, there were 23 clubs of Ca Tru on the nationwide. Today, that number reduced to 14 clubs, spreading from the north to the south of Vietnam. Besides, we can visit the ancient vestiges of Ca Tru in Lo Khe village (Lien Ha commune, Dong Anh district, Hanoi) or come to Cổ Đạm village in Nghi Xuân district, Ha Tinh.

A typical performance of Ca Tru often requires at least three performers. The singer is always a woman and plays the “phach”, an instrument made of wood or bamboo that is beaten with two wooden sticks. A musician accompanies the singer on the “dan day”, a long-necked lute with three silk strings and 10 frets. There is also a drummer or “trong chau”.

Travel to Hanoi, you should not miss a performance of Ca Tru at Thang Long club of Ca Tru at 28 Hang Buom Street, Hoan Kiem district.

Show time: 20.00 – 21.15 PM every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Price: US$12/pax.