Hue is not famous for only royal tombs, temples and fascinating dishes. Hue also owning a sweet melody of the art form has been recognized as a World Heritage, which is Hue Royal Court Music.
The Hue Royal Court Music performances formerly featured numerous singers, dancers and musicians dressed in sumptuous costumes. Large-scale orchestras included a prominent drum section and many other types of percussion instruments as well as a variety of wind and string instruments. All performers had to maintain a high level of concentration since they were expected to follow each step of the ritual meticulously.
Court music under the Nguyen Dynasty Hue Royal Court music is a Royal music genre, previously only been performing for royalty. Following to archived documents, Nha Nhac (Vietnam Royal Court music) appeared firstly from the 13th century, but only reached the level of virtuosity under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).
Nguyen Imperial regulated seven types of music, similar to the category of the Le Dynasty, including: “Giao” music, “Mieu” music, “ Ngu tu” music, “Đai trieu” music, “Thuong trieu” musical, “Yen” music, “Cung trung” music. Under Nguyen Dynasty, Court music is used twice a month in the Great ceremonies and four times a month in Annual ceremonies, including Nam Giao, Tich Dien, Birthday of King and Queen as well as unusual ceremonies, namely coronation, the funeral of the king and queen, welcoming the ambassador. Depending on the offerings, different genres of Court music was performed, such as “Dai trieu” music often used during the Lunar New Year Ceremony.
Tourists come to Hue will have the chance to enjoy Vietnam Court music program in Duyet Thi Duong Theater, the first theatre opened to perform Vietnam Court Music. This space was built approximately 200 years ago, under the Nguyen Dynasty. In late 2003, when the Hue Royal Court Music was recognized as an UNESCO ‘s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Duyet Thi Duong became an interesting destination for ancient music lovers.
For years, Duyet Thi Duong has held thousands of concerts for ancient dance and Court music. So far, the theater has held thousands of concerts, collected and restored 8 out of 11 ancient dances, and more 40 pieces of Court music.
A show usually does not last too long, only about 30-40 minutes, enough to introduce visitors to the sweet melody of court music.