Vietnamese music has had a rather long history. Since ancient times, the Vietnamese have had a strong inclination for music.
For the Vietnamese, music is considered to be an essential need; therefore, numerous musical instruments and genres intended for various purposes have been developed. Vietnamese people use music to express their innermost feelings, to encourage themselves while working and fighting, to educate their children in good traditions and national sentiment, to communicate with the invisible, and to sublimate their aspirations for a happy life.
The simple and primitive instruments, as well as the more sophisticated ones, have been preserved to form a rich musical treasure. Numerous forms of songs and music have also been created and retained. They include lullabies, children’s songs, ritual songs, festivity songs, various work songs, courtship songs, riddle songs, melodies, and poem narration. There are also songs and music for groups, as well as for traditional theatre.
Vietnamese traditional music is diverse due to the various genres that took shape during different periods of history. Songs of the same genre often differ very much in melody and expression from ethnicity to ethnicity. As a result, lullabies, for example, of the Kinh differ from those of the Muong.
Traditional music has played an important role in the lives of the Vietnamese. Currently, music still occupies a considerable position in the spiritual lives of the Vietnamese. Some genres of music still exist in rural areas, while others were brought to the stage to meet the demands of the population.