Quan Ho - Alternate Singing

Quan ho is a genre of Vietnamese folk music, which is often performed in spring festivals in the north of Vietnam.

Quan ho is a genre of Vietnamese folk music, which is often performed in spring festivals in the north of Vietnam. Bac Ninh province is home to the traditional music which was first recorded in the 13th century and officially recognized as the Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2009.  It is characterized by its meaningful lyrics, folk beauty of music and the way it is performed.

Groups of female and male singers alternately sing to each other; when a team issue musical challenges, the other is supposed to respond by the same way. Most of lyrics centre on topics related to love and sentimental desire of young adults. Hardly any form of cultural activities place men and women on an equal basis like Quan Ho; young adults are free to communicate and express their feelings with each other and more importantly, lyrics convey their high emphasis on genuine feelings rather than money or social status in love relationship.

Quan Ho seems to be a game instead of a folk music as teams of singers compete with each other through the match of lyrics and of melodies to bring wonderful performance to audiences. The melodies as well as the lyrics are so beautiful and rich in poetry that the appearance of instruments sometimes seems to be abundant; the musical message is sufficient by itself.  

More about Quan Ho:

Quan Ho Folk Singing - A long way from the past
Unique Element of Quan Ho folk singing
Costume of Quan Ho singers
History of Quan Ho
Quan Ho as melodies of love

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