Name: Dàn nguyệt.
Type: Lute > Chordophone.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Region: South East Asia.
Description: The đàn nguyệt [in Vietnamese đàn nguyệt [ɗǎn ŋwiə̂ˀt] is a literal translation to “moon lute” or its alternative names including nguyệt cầm, đàn kìm. It is a two-stringed Vietnamese traditional musical instrument. It is used in both folk and classical music, and remains popular throughout Vietnam.
Etymology: The instrument’s standard Vietnamese name, đàn nguyệt, literally means “moon string instrument” đàn is the generic term for “string instrument” and nguyệt means “moon”. Its alternate name, nguyệt cầm, also means “moon string instrument” cầm meaning “string instrument” in Sino-Vietnamese, coming from the Chinese word qín 琴.
Playing Technique: The Đàn nguyệt are strung and kept to a low tension. The instrument’s raised frets, allow for the bending tones which are so important to the proper interpretation of Vietnamese traditional music. The bending tones are produced by pressing the string toward the neck rather than bending to the side.
Citations: The Garland handbook of Southeast Asian music – Page 262 Terry E. Miller, Sean Williams 2008 This lute is the only stringed instrument used to accompany ca trù singing. The đàn nguyệt or đàn kìm is a moon-shaped, long-necked lute with two silk strings [Figure 13.17].