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Instruments
The zither Dan Tranh

The Vietnamese Dan Tranh is one of the smallest zithers of Asia. The most common forms today know 16 to 21 chords and are mainly made of light woods. 


Like the Chinese Guzheng it has pyramidal divisors attached under the chord which makes it easy to retune the instrument for another scale or modus. If we keep in ind that the "bac" scale differs from the "nam" sclae just in quarter notes, a moveable bridge under the chord makes sense. 

The Tranh is usually tuned in an anhemitonic scale:

Do - Re - Fa - Sol - La - Do     (I - II - IV - V - VI - VIII)

* Sample (MP3, 1100 KB) *

The chords get plucked with the right hand (with plectrums attached to the first three fingers), while the left hand modulates and pitches
the tone by pressing the chord. Though being smaller than other zithers, the tone of the Tranh still is enjoyable and not to sharp.
Its bright voice is predestinated for ensembles, while it also got famous for becoming a beloved solo instrument.
Though it might not be common any more, most of the Tranh players are women. It is the most famous instrument right beside the Dan Bao.

Pictures (Click to expand):

         

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