New policy needed to preserve ethnic Khmer music forms

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New policy needed to preserve ethnic Khmer music forms

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Artists perform a traditional Khmer dance on stage. VNS File Photo

Article from Vietnam

by An Phương
November, 10/2019

With the introduction of modern musical forms, the folk music of ethnic Khmer in the southern region has encountered multiple problems retaining its popular status.

The variety of musical forms include the pentatonic orchestra, Mhôry orchestra, wedding orchestra, Sa dam drum performance, À day singing, and lullabies, among other categories.

The performer conducts singing as a way of storytelling with content sometimes filled with humour to excite the audience.The songs’ content is usually about fairy tales, myths and folklore that guide locals to be good people.This special, expressive type of performance in 2013 was listed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as a part of national intangible cultural heritage

Phạm Thị Tố Thy from Trà Vinh University says that though the University is the only official institution that has a course on performing Khmer instrumental music, the number of people enrolled remains limited, with only 29 students between 2012 and 2019.

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