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Dan Tranh
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Guitar, Violin..

SIXTEEN-STRINGER ZITHER SIMILAR
TO THE JAPANESE KOTO

Dan Tranh (Sixteen-stringed zither similar to the Japanese Koto)

 The Dan Tranh is a musical instrument of chordophonic family, a plucked branch of the Viet ethnic group. Because Dan Tranh has 16 strings, it is also called Dan Thap luc.

Dan Tranh has a long-parallelepiped shape. The frame of the instrument has trapezium-shape, 110-120 cm in length. The sides are made of hard wood decorated with various designs, either lacquered and, or inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The large end is 25-30 cm in width with holes or hooks to attach the strings. The narrow end is 15-20 cm in width with 16 tuning keys on the surface of the instrument. Its surface is made of wootung tree (Ngo Dong wood), 0.05 cm thick and arched and its bottom is made of light wood with sound holes.

The bridges of instrument or chevalet are placed diagonally accross the middle of the sound board. They are movable to fine tune each string to pitch. The strings are made of steel with different guages. When playing,  the artist usually wears finger plectrums (Finger picks) on the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. The finger plectrum is made of different materials, such as metal, horn or tortoise-shell.

Its timbre is bright and clear and it expresses jubilant and pure melodies. Dan Tranh is rarely suitable with strong and moving characteristics. The range of Dan Tranh includes three octaves, from Do up Do3, as in do rea mi so.

 The Dan Tranh sits flat like an autoharp and is plucked using all fingers. Players will usually wear picks (finger plectrums) on their fingers to facilitate plucking. The sound reverberates through the hollow wooden box below the strings. Sounds can be altered through cupping, pressing or stroking the strings instead of simply plucking. 

Dan Tranh is used to perform as a solo or ensemble instrument, accompany poetry, singing and take part in Tai Tu orchestra, Bat Am company, Nha nhac orchestra and general traditional orchestras.

 Dan Tranh is a relative of the Guzheng in China and Koto of Japan but through seven or eight centuries using it, Vietnamese people created a specific characteristic in fingering techniques, pressing and releasing, and scale. Dan Tranh has become a musical instrument bringing characteristics of Vietnam. . People used it under 9 strings, 15 strings, and 16 strings. Now , Dan Tranhís usualy have 16 strings ,but  it may have 17strings, 19strings , 21strings 23 strings or 24 strings.

 Price: Professional Student grade:$300.00 and up, plus shipment fee

          Professional Artist grade: $500.00 and up, plus shipment fee

          Master grade: $700.00 and up, plus shipment fee

CD: $15.00 each plus shipment fee

Discountís available for larger orders

 


 

Thanh Cam No. 45&47,  Alley 127,   Hao Nam Street,  Dong Da dist. Ha Noi.   Viet Nam,   Tel: (84- 4) 8516569,
email: dungdoviet@yahoo.com