Dan Tu

Name: Dan Tu.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Vietnam.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The name of this instrument “Dan Tu” [in Vietnamese: Dan tu meaning “four”]. Tu refers to the number of strings, also called a đàn đoản [đoản meaning “short” referring to the length of the instrument’s neck. It is a traditional Vietnamese stringed musical instrument, a circular moon-shaped lute with a short neck, similar to the guitar or ukulele. It is little used today.

A different instrument does exist with the same name, which is similar to the Chinese zhongruan, is used in Vietnam’s tradition of nhạc dân tộc cải biên. Towards the 1960s, Vietnamese musician improved đàn tứ’s ability to play Western-style music by creating a rectangular body with longer strings designed for Western Diatonic scale. It now becomes much more popular than the traditional version.

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