|The music band of Dak Yo village plays traditional music of Ba Na ethnic people. (Photo: VOV)
Every Saturday morning, the band’s 15 members, all of whom are of the Ba Na ethnic group in Dak Yo village, Sa Thay district, gather to rehearse. They play instruments like the gong, the lithophone, the T’Rung, or the drum.
“We have been in the band for 2 years. We play music for fun. Each musical instrument has its own character,” said 20-year-old A Nao.
Band leader A Chieng says the band was established 3 years ago. He had to find individuals with an aptitude for music and the band members had to arrange time to practice together. The youngest member of the band is 16 and the oldest 25. None of them had any previous music training.
“At first, I didn’t know how to play music. I learned by practicing with the band. I hope to inspire other young people to learn to play traditional music,” said A Chieng.
The Dak Yo village band has learned 100 pieces of music, 50 of them folk songs, which they play at the new rice festival and other community festivals, and communal house inauguration ceremonies. Band member A Luyen says that for each performance, the band divides into small groups to practice their separate parts, and then they gather to rehearse all together.
“It normally takes us 4 to 5 days to prepare a performance. We rehearse twice a week. We love the melodies of traditional music.”
|Teenagers of Dak Yo village perform a traditional dance. (Photo: VOV)
Encouraged by their success, the band has taught other teenagers of Dak Yo village to play traditional music. Tran Cong Thanh, Vice Chairman of Ho Moong commune’s People’s Committee in Sa Thay district, said the band is helping to preserve and promote the folk music of Ba Na ethnic people.
“Many veteran musicians have gotten too old to play music. We’e teaching young people to play the gong, a traditional musical instrument of the Central Highlands, in the hope that they will keep alive local cultural values,” said Thanh.