• Rhythmatist

Vietnamese Percussion

Updated: Feb 13, 2019



Around the eighth century the modern western drum set had a precursor in Vietnam. A barrel drum two to three feet in diameter was surrounded by smaller drums attached to the rim and played with a free standing cymbal. This set accompanies most traditional Vietnamese folk music to this day.



The ghi năng drum (a relative of the Indonesian Kendang and Malaysian Gendang) is played in Vietnam as well. This can be seen in the water puppet performances in Hanoi.







Hill tribes in SE Asia have a drum that resembles the African talking drum in the way that it is strung. Two skins are laced rim to rim over an hourglass shaped drum that has one side shaped like a cone and the other shaped like a globe with a small section cut out. The globe side makes a high pitched snap while the conical side makes a deeper tone. A wider version of this hourglass style is known as the chyango in Korean samulnori music, though the playing style for each drum is likely very different because of the unique classical music style of Korea.




Vietnamese have also made large slate xylophones as pictured below left. The tube resonated tone of the slate sounds bell-like as if it were made of metal. The Trung is a bamboo xylophone (pictured below right) similar to the Indonesian Rendik but for that the bamboo pipes are usually suspended in an arc by string from a standing frame.

85 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All