Tina Nguyen plays as well as teaches Vietnamese folk music. Tina’s mother played the zither which served as an impetus for her to study music at music academies in Vietnam and Canada. Traditional Vietnamese instruments include the dan bau or monochord and the dan tranh or zither. The monochord has, as its name implies, one chord and is played by plucking the strings and adjusting the “whammy bar” while the zither is played by plucking the strings by the right hand and pressing the string by the left hand.
Press the play button to listen to Tina Nguyen play the dan tranh:
While the zither is an instrument originally of Chinese origin, the monochord is a specifically Vietnamese instrument. Other traditional instruments in her collection are pear-shaped lutes, a praising drum, a gong, a clapper, and bamboo flutes. Tina believes that it is young energetic people like herself that are the key to keeping traditional Vietnamese culture alive. Through performing at events like Asian Gala 2003, teaching students and creating a website about Vietnamese music, Tina seeks to do just that.
Press the play button to listen to Tina Nguyen play the dan bau:
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Learn more about Asian-American traditions in Central Florida:
Learn more about folk music and dance traditions in Central Florida: