On 1st - 12th March 2015, the field- work group of the Vietnamese Institute for Musicology headed by Deputy Director Phạm Minh Hương conducted surveys and collected data for the first phase of the project “Collect and preserve two-part folk tunes of Nùng people in Cao Bằng”, an intangible cultural project within the framework of the National Target Program.
Nùng people accounted for 32% the population in Cao Bằng (the second populous ethnic group). Nùng folk songs in Cao Bằng comprised many types, among which the male-female response singing was the most outstanding. It was the two part singing and its name differed from branch to branch of Nùng people. It was called Hà Lều by Nùng Lòi, Nùng Cháo and Nùng Inh people; Hèo Phjưn by Nùng An people; Lượn Khen Lài by Nùng Khen Lài people; Lượn Ngạn by Nùng Ngạn people and Sli Giang by Nùng Giang people.
In this field work, the group filmed and sound recorded performances of Hà Lều singing in Lũng Mười hamlet, An Lạc commune, Hạ Lang district; Lượn Khen Lài in Tổng Nưa hamlet, Thị Hoa commune, Hạ Lang district and Hèo Phjưn in Pắc Rằng hamlet, Phúc Sen commune, Quảng Uyên district.
Those folk tunes are undeniably the “priceless intangible cultural heritage” and the “pride” of Nùng people in music standard and capability to enjoy music. However, due to changes in social life, these folk tunes have recently got lost. Doing research and collecting two-part folk tunes of Nùng people in Cao Bằng is a need.
These are probably valuable data for the research, collection and preservation of the cultural identities of Nùng people in general and two-part folk tunes of Nùng people in Cao Bằng in particular.
NGUYỄN THỦY TIÊN