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wasn't considered prestigious to be a performer in Vietnam, in spite of this
musicians and performers were very popular. Vietnam has a single stringed
zither called the dan bau that is exclusive to the country. The
zither has a flat bamboo body and an upright neck, with the string going from on
end to the other. Vietnamese songs are classified into three separate
groups: those with lyrics from dramas, minority songs, and songs from every day
life (hat). The last group, hat, is by far the largest group
of songs and include lo hat (improvisational singing), military, choral
and marching songs. Also included are those songs which are sung to
children, lovers, at festivals, etc.
folk opera, cheo, had been banned at one time due to the fact that during
the performances authorities were criticized. The opera
uses pantomime with folks songs, dances, music as well as acrobatics and
magic. Court opera, which had been brought to Vietnam from China, was
banned as well in the 15th century for the same reasons as cheo. It
was finally brought out from the underground, where it had managed to survive
until the Nguyen court.
plays are a popular entertainment in Vietnam once again, after a period of
"drought." Originally from India, the puppet plays can have as
many as 30 scenes during one play that range from historical stories from
classical operas as well as wars and fights of national heroes.
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