Vietnamese Court Music
One of the research themes of the Asian Music Unit (AsMU) is ‘Safeguarding Heritage, Music Revival and Cultural Policy’.
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Under this theme, the Director of AsMU, Dr Barley Norton, conducted a research project on the revival of Vietnamese court music, known as nhã nhạc (or ‘elegant music’), which was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003.
The video extracts on this site feature performances by different court music orchestras in the city of Hue in central Vietnam. For further information about nhã nhạc and the videos see Barley Norton’s chapter “Orchestrating the Nation: Court Orchestras, Nationalism and Agency in Vietnam” published in the book Global Perspectives on Orchestras: Essays on Collective Creativity and Social Agency, edited by Tina K. Ramnarine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).