The đàn bầu, Vietnam’s indigenous monochord zither produces sounds which represent the Vietnamese soul. It fascinates locals and foreigners and is an important part of the nation’s musical legacy.

With its clear, bright, glissando effects and its sad sound, đàn bầu evokes a deep nostalgia in those living far from home. Its  music brings bamboo forests, paddy fields, small rivers and old temples to listeners, reminding them of a peaceful childhood in the countryside.

Artist Anh Tu

The magnificient sound of the dan bau has its own attraction, just like a mother’s sounds. It distinguishes itself from other sounds, leaving an unforgettable vibration in my mind.

Dan bau produces a wide range of sounds. The emitted sound can be beautiful, deep and seductive. It is either sad or cheerful to portray human feelings.

Dang Hoanh Loan – Music researcher

Dan bau is unique for its simple structure with just one string  but produces characteristic harmonics and a rod is used to vary the tension of the string.

Dan bau is a must-have in traditional settings and in contemporary performances to entertain foreigners and introduce Vietnamese culture to the world.

Artist Anh Tu

Dan bau represents the Vietnamese people’s soul and characteristics. The sound it produces is just like a human’s voice and can be played in both traditional and symphony concerts.

Artist Thanh Tam

Dan bau plays an important role in the spiritual life of Vietnamese people since it sounds like a human’s voice and represents their feelings. It can be found in any corner of the country.

Some international audiences use the phrase “đàn bầu country” or “đàn bầu’s homeland” when they talk about Vietnam.

The dan bau has become a symbol of Vietnam, just like the non la (conical hat) and ao-dai.

To recognise the unique charateristics of dan bau, the Vietnam National Academy of Music will prepare a dossier seeking UNESCO cultural heritage recognition for the instrument.-VNA