A?A�n ba?�uA�is the unique Vietnamese instrument withA�a dried gourd, a one string and a wooden rod. It is the most Vietnamese zither because it has sound chord resemble to our language – Vietnamese.
What makes one string to heartstringsA�
This one-stringA�zitherA�has been gone along with Vietnamese for a long time ago. Especially, singing the songs played with this instrument by buskers helps players to earn a living. Gradually, it becomes traditional culture feature of Vietnam. As a result, international audiences use the phrase a�?A�A�n ba?�uA�countrya�? or a�?A�A�n ba?�ua��s homelanda�? when they talk about Via��t Nam.
This unique instrumentA�remains shrouded in mystery about its history. But scholars agree that it is an indigenous instrument of Via��t Nam which appeared before the 19th century.
According to some scholars and records,A�xa?�mA�singers (blind busker singer) in the north broughtA�A�A�n ba?�uA�to Hua?? to accompany singing performances for the Vietnamese royal court in 1892.
It was King ThA�nh ThA?i who a patriotic king during the period of French colonial lovedA�A�A�n ba?�uA�music. Therefore, he decided to replace theA�A�A�n tamA�(36-chord zither) withA�A�A�n ba?�uA�in the royal court orchestra. That originally included five instruments:A�tranh (16-chord zither), ta�? (pear-shaped 4-string guitar), nha�� ( two-string fiddle), nguya��t (moon-shaped lute) and ba?�uA�(monochord zither). This kind of music developed to Hue Royal Court Music and recognisedA�as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of HumanityA�in 2003 by UNESCO.
Up to the war time, A�A�n ba?�uA�became a closely friend to the soldiers that it was played on battle fields. This beloved music was a great comfort and encouragement to soldiers during war and a means of enriching their lives in harsh battle conditions.
To this day, locals still celebrate the death anniversary of the progenitor ofA�hA?t xa?�mA�with gratitude duringA�February and August of the lunar calendar in the Ha??i D?�??ng, Ha??i PhA?ng, H?�ng YA?n, and VA�nh PhA? areas.
One-string zither in the modern puzzle era A�
According to the survey about the number of instrument players, one idea said that it is not difficult to learn to playA�A�A�n ba?�u. Because one can play A�A�n ba?�u beautifully, as long as they understand the soul and characteristics of Vietnamese people.
To preserve the priceless values of this traditional instrument as well as develop it in the future, many artists and lecturers submitted the suitable policy to Culture, Sport and Travelling Ministry such as advocated granting awards and financial support to encourage artists and teachers to compose more new works forA�A�A�n ba?�u. Furthermore, the government should open the new class or bring A�A�n ba?�u to the academy forA�the training talent at an early age. Besides, Vietnamese researchers also urged the Via��t Nam cultural authority to make a UNESCO push forA�A�A�n ba?�u.
A?A�n ba?�uA�is an indispensable part of Via��t Nama��s music scene. It holds a unique place on domestic and international music stages.