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Efforts to bring ‘Xam’ singing closer to public

Hanoi: A unique form of folk singing using a combination of spoken singing and music, with a history marked by ups and downs, ‘Xam’ is experiencing a resurgence in many regions across the country, especially in the Red River Delta region, including Hanoi.

From the first Xam singing group established in Dong Xuan market in Hanoi, many ‘Xam’ clubs and classes to teach and revitalise the art form have been established.

Revival after long oblivion

‘Xam’ singing is a traditional art form which originated from Vietnam’s northern region. As its deep lyrics narrate daily life stories, the art form is considered an intricate cultural item, and has become an important part of the Vietnamese people’s spiritual life. The art-form fell into oblivion for a time, but recently has been revitalised and gradually made its return into the minds and hearts of music lovers.

The first Xam singing club was launched in 2006 by the Vietnam Music Development Centre named Xam Ha Thanh (Hanoi buskers’ singing group). Its members per
form for free every weekend evening at Dong Xuan Market in front of local market goers and visiors to the area.

The club has become a cradle nurturing the love for Xam singing among the public. Many artists have grown from this club and participated in activities contributing to the revival and development of this art form.

So far, dozens of Xam singing clubs and groups have been established in Hanoi.

People in Hanoi and tourists can enjoy free Xam singing performances at various locations around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter.

Xam Ha Thanh has endeavored to revive ancient Xam melodies, infusing modern elements into new compositions, bringing the folk art closer to the public.

The art form is gaining more recognition and becoming familiar to many people nowadays.

According to music researcher Dang Hoanh Loan, support and coordination from the government, cultural and artistic organisations, as well as contributions from artists and the community, are needed to further develop the folk music genre wi
thin the community.

Furthermore, it is necessary to encourage and support the maintenance and development of Xam singing clubs, groups, and cultural centres, he said./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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