Fighting against virus with traditional music
After many modern tunes have encouraged citizens to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic, now it is the turn of traditional Vietnamese music.
Artists of Xẩm Hà Thành perform Tiêu Diệt Corona (Destroy Corona), a song encouraging the spirit of the citizens in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Photo cut from the MV
One of the earliest works is a song entitled Tiêu Diệt Corona (Destroy Corona) by Xẩm Hà Thành (Hà Nội buskers’ singing group).
The song was composed by musician Nguyễn Quang Long and its music video was finished within three days.
“Seeing the doctors, nurses and soldiers sleeping outside to make room for the quarantined, I was overwhelmed with emotion, motivating me to write the song in just one night,” Long said.
Tiêu Diệt Corona consists of two parts – the COVID-19 situation in Việt Nam and preventive measures. Its lyrics are about the unity among Vietnamese in the fight against the epidemic: “Entrepreneurs join efforts / Artists work together / People combine efforts / Be vigilant / Preventing the epidemic everywhere / When Corona appears / Together we will destroy it.”
The song maximises the strength of the percussion rhythm with Huế royal court music, which is blended with the humour and bustle of chèo (popular opera) and rap. Artists Mai Tuyết Hoa and Văn Phương are the main performers with support of artists Nguyễn Quang Long, Phạm Trang, Phạm Dũng and Ngọc Xuân.
Xẩm is a centuries-old singing style of the Vietnamese people. It was popular in the northern region and has long been recognised as an important part of national cultural heritage. A xẩm band includes a singer and two to four instrumentalists.
Xẩm Hà Thành was founded in 2009 by musical researcher Nguyễn Quang Long and artist Mai Tuyết Hoa, a student of xẩm artisan Hà Thị Cầu in 2009. The group gathers many talents such as Văn Hải (Vietnamese two-chord fiddle), Phạm Trang (monochord), Trân Hậu (bamboo flute).
In addition to reproducing many popular songs that have fallen into oblivion, the group also create new tunes, targeting young audiences and have participated in many local and foreign programmes. VNS