Tradition, still remains: sustainability through ruin in Vietnamese music for diversion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performing traditional music in Vietnam presents for many a decisive way to establish oneself as part of history, part of the present and a strategist of future cultural function. In this article, I describe how musicians in southern Vietnam deploy the musical ruin, a sound object that has undergone devastating and alienating alteration against which a musician reacts in order to perform innovative music and educate others, in order to limit the development of and better sustain đờn ca tài tử, a genre of traditional music. The invocation of the musical ruin is not specific to the Vietnamese case but emerges as a creative impetus at particular historical moments to maintain one’s voice in increasingly crowded spheres of musical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-171
JournalEthnomusicology Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016


  • Vietnam
  • Traditional Music
  • Music Preservation
  • Cultural Policy
  • Creativity


Dive into the research topics of 'Tradition, still remains: sustainability through ruin in Vietnamese music for diversion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this