|Artisan Dieu Chinh La (C) teaches young people how to play the Tinh tau. (Photo: VOV)
Artisan Dieu Chinh La was born and grew up with the melody of the Tinh tau played by his grandparents and parents in Quynh Nhai district. When La was 15, he was able to play the Tinh tau and took part in music performances in his locality. He also learnt to make the Tinh tau and other kinds of traditional musical instruments of the White Thai.
According to La, materials for making the Tinh tau include mulberry wood for neck, dried gourd fruit for the sound box, and silk cord. The sound quality of the Tinh tau depends on the dexterity of the artisan, said La.
“The wood must be dried. To make the sound box, you need to cut away a quarter of the gourd fruit and removes the insides. The more hollow the gourd fruit is, the better sound it creates.”
The White Thai in Quynh Nhai district use the Tinh tau to express their love and accompany call and response songs, folk dances, and Then singing. With a wish to preserve this distinctive musical instrument, artisan La opened Tinh tau making and playing classes in his stilt house, which attract many people of different ages.
So far, La has made more than 2,000 Tinh tau pieces. He has also received many orders for the instrument as souvenirs. 10-year-old Hoang Duc Huy, the youngest student of La’s class, now can play the Tinh tau very well.
“I have been learning how to play the Tinh tau for 2 years and now I can perform six music pieces. I will continue to learn the Tinh tau to preserve the cultural values of Thai people,” said Huy,
|Artisan Dieu Chinh La makes a Tinh tau. (Photo: VOV)
Artisan Dieu Chinh La is also active in many music and art performances and contests in his locality. He has won a number of top prizes at national festivals and a local Xoe dance and music contest. La said he hopes that the melody of the Tinh tau will continue to echo for a longer time.
“I will maintain my classes to teach the Tinh tau for young people. I also hope that local authorities will pay more attention and facilitate the preservation effort.”
Tran Van Ngoan, a cultural official in Muong Giang commune, said artisan Chinh La has made great contributions to preserving and promoting the cultural values and traditions of the White Thai.
“Thanks to La, generations of local of people have learned how to make and play the Tinh tau. We encourage him to continue his work, so that the later generations can continue to follow the tradition,” said Ngoan.
In 2015, Dieu Chinh La was awarded the title “Emeritus Artisan” from the State President for his contributions to preserving and promoting Vietnam’s intangible cultural heritage.