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

Description: The đàn tứ [tứ meaning “four” in Vietnamese, referring to the instrument’s number of strings], also called đàn đoản, đoản meaning “short,” referring to the instrument’s neck. It is a traditional Vietnamese stringed musical instrument, a moon-shaped lute with a short neck, similar to the Chinese yueqin. It is little used today.

A different instrument 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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