Monday, March 21, 2005

Vietnamese Music in Henley Square

Originally uploaded by mikecogh.
Every year over the summer months the local council hosts a music program on Sunday afternoons in Henley Square by the sea. Yesterday was the final event for the season and it featured multicultural music. One of the acts featured one of my wife's ESL students. She sang as part of a Vietnamese group performing traditional pieces from Vietnamese operas. It was a disconcerting experience. Initially I felt it was a matter of the music being so different that it was too difficult for my Western ears to adjust to and make sense of. It was charming visually, and the setting by the sea in the warm autumn weather meant that the whole experience was delightful, but when I came home and listened to some Vietnamese music I found on the web, I realized that some of the music we listened to in the square was out of tune, or just poorly performed. Here you can hear a short piece of how a zither should sound, and this is an example of an enchanting longer piece.

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