Category Archives: Dan


Dan Luc Huyen Cam

Name: Dan Luc Huyen Cam.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Guitar > Scalloped.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Country: Vietnam.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The đàn lục huyền cầm [literal translation “lute with six strings”], or colloquially đàn ghi-ta phím lõm the literal translation is ghi ta, “guitar”, phim “fret”, lom, “sunken.  This particular type of guitar is a Vietnamese adaptation. The guitar was adopted by Vietnamese musicians during the 19th Century. This form of guitar is commonly used in cải lương or “Southern Reformed Theater.    Having a scalloped fingerboard allows for note bending and other ornamentation that are featured throughout Vong Co.  

Citations: Bibliography: Adelaida Reyes Songs of the Caged, Songs of the Free: Music and the Vietnamese Refugee Experience 1999 Page 186 “This “doctoring” involves carving the fingerboard deeper between the frets, making the fingerboard look scalloped. … Also called lục huyền cầm [literally, guitar; see Jones-Bamman 1991:73-75] or Vietnamese guitar, the instrument has six strings.” ; The Garland handbook of Southeast Asian music – Page 262 Terry E. Miller, Sean Williams 2008 “Lục huyền cầm “six-stringed instrument” and dan ghi-ta are Vietnamese terms for the Western guitar, used in traditional …” ; Cải lương is also called Southern Reformed Theater [Nguyen and Campbell 1990:28; Pham Duy 1975:112] ; Websites : Encyclopedia of Vietnamese Music ;

Dan Tinh

Name: Dàn Tinh.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Country: Vietnam.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The đàn tính or tính tẩu [gourd lute], is a stringed musical instrument played by the Tay people of Lạng Sơn Province in Vietnam. Although “tinh tau” originated as a Tay word, both names are used in Vietnamese. The dan tinh is used by shamans in séances in the hope that it will be animated by spirits.

The instrument has two individual nylon strings. They are strung over a bridge, two friction tuning pegs are installed at the left and right sides of the head stock. The body is often cut from a gourd where a sound table is affixed to the top of the gourd, completing the resonator. The strings used were originally of silk although nylon fishing line is often used.

Citations: Bibliography: Trȧn Quang Hai – Stanley Sadie – New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments Vol. 1 Book A to F, page 544 ; Maurice Abadie, Walter E. J. Tips – Minorities of the Sino-Vietnamese borderland, 2001. “In reality the Tho (Tay) produce a distinct stringed musical instrument called a tinh tau in Tay and dan tinh in Vietnamese of a type also used by the Thai Khao. the Tay version having one string and the Tai Khao version two strings.” ;