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MOON-SHAPED LUTE

Dan Nguyet (Moon-shaped lute)

 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 chamber music.
 
 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 shipment fee

 CD: $15.00 each plus shipment fee

 Discountís available for larger orders.

 


 

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