Take one and a half hours by motorbike, zigzag through winding roads and lush green paddy fields, immerse in tranquil ambiance in the village, tourists will head to the small village of Dao Xa in Dong Lo commune, Ung Hoa district, Hanoi to gain a deeper insight into traditional musical instruments making process. Dao Xa village, a very popular name in Red River Delta produces handmade traditional instruments including the “dan bau” (a single-stringed instrument), “dan nguyet” (full-moon-shaped guitar with two strings) and “dan nhi” (upright two-string fiddle).

Dao Xa Traditional Musical Instruments Making Village

Dao Xa Traditional Musical Instruments Making Village

Historically, the craft existed about 200 years ago, and the ancestor of the craft is Dao Xuan Lai, a local carpenter. After learning the methods to make some instruments, he returned to the village to share his skills with villagers. Since then, the craft has been developed and preserved through the generations. The work requires skillful hands and meticulousness. The most important and difficult work is to check the instrument’s pitch and the sound quality. With skills and experience, craftsmen make high-quality traditional instruments. The “dan bau” (Vietnamese monochord) is considered one of the most special traditional music instruments. It can describe a range of feelings with only one string. It’s also called “Doc huyen cam” (one-string instrument) in Vietnamese. The music with a wide range of pitch is unforgettable. As said by a French poetess the sound of the “dan bau” truly reflects the characteristics of Vietnamese people who have rich soul despite their poverty.

Dao Xa Traditional Musical Instruments Making Village

Artisan adjusting the strings of the instrument