Some 30 clubs to join national Ca tru festival
Update: Aug 20, 2014
A national Ca tru (ceremonial singing) festival will be organised in Ha Noi from August 26 – 29 with the participation of nearly 30 Ca tru clubs from 12 provinces and cities in a bid to preserve the UNESCO-recognised cultural heritage item.

At a press briefing in Ha Noi on August 19, the chief director of the event musician Dang Hoanh Loan said young artists will dominate the festival in stead of elders, which signals a renaissance of the time-honoured art.

They are encouraged to perform Ca tru in their own ways, the composer added.

Ca tru, also known as Hat a dao, was recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in October 2009.

It is an ancient type of music featuring female vocalists. It is a complex form of poetry found in the north of Viet Nam using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms.

Ca tru groups comprise of three performers: a female singer who uses breathing techniques and vibrations to create unique sounds while playing the clappers or striking a wooden box, and two instrumentalists who produce the deep tones of a three-stringed lute and the strong sounds of a ceremonial drum.

Ca tru singing appeared in the north around the 15th century and thrived until the early 20th century. Since then, it has lost popularity to modern recreational forms and cultural activities.

This kind of singing is now practised in 15 provinces and cities across Viet Nam.