Dan Nguyet or Dan Kim or Vong Nguyet
Cam or Quan Tu Cam is a musical instrument of the chordophonic
family of the Viet ethnic group. The surface of Nguyet,
round-shape, is made of light, soft and non-decorated wood and
30 cm in diameter. Its surface (top) part, called the head of
the instrument (Thu), is used as a sound board with a bridge for
the two strings.
The side of the instrument is made of hard wood, 8 cm in height. The
bottom (back) is covered with light, soft wood the same as the
top, but without sound hole. The neck, 100 cm in length, fixed
to 10 frets at pentatonic scale (7 are fixed to the neck and 3
are fixed on the soundboard). The head of Nguyet is has four
tuning pegs but only two silk strings (nowadays, nylon string is
used). The two strings are tuned at a perfect fifth Fa-Do1;
Sol-Re1 or a perfect fourth G-C1; D1-G1. In the past,
instrumentalist used his/her fingernails to play Nguyet.
Nowadays, they play it with a plastic or tortoise-shell
plectrum. Nguyet has range of more than two octaves.
Dan Nguyet is used to accompany Van
singing, Hue singing, Tai tu singing, Bat am music, ceremonial
music and traditional stage orchestra.
Today, masterpieces for Nguyet, have
been composed by many musicians to perform solo, such as Que Ta
(My homeland), Chung mot niem tin (the same faith) by Xuan Khai;
Tinh Me (the affection of the mother) by Tran Luan and Tinh Quan
Dan (soliders and people relationship) by Xuan Ba...
Dan Nguyet has an appearance similar to
those of other East Asian Moon shaped lutes, the Yue qin of
China, the Wul Kim of Korea, and the Gekkin of Japan. However
the Vietnamese Dan nguyet can easily be distinguished from
others by its long neck, the prominently raised frets and the
performance style. This is an important plucked stringed
instrument used in so many kinds of musical or theatrical
performances, such as solo, song accompaniment, instrumental
ensemble, chamber music, ritual music and royal court music...
This instrument was placed on the first position of the five
perfect instruments (Nhu tuyet: Tranh, Ty, Nhi, Nguyet, Sao) in
In chamber music of South Vietnam , the musician who plays this instrument
also conducts the ensemble by keeping the Song Loan ( the
percussion instrument which looks like castanets, is used to
keep the beat for the song playing), the Dan Nguyet has been
widely appreciated by the Vietnamese for centuries.
Price: Professional Student
grade:$190.00 and up, plus shipment fee
Professional Artist grade: $290.00
and up, plus shipment fee
Master grade: $390.00 and up, plus
CD: $15.00 each plus shipment fee
Discountís available for larger orders.