Shadows of the War Horse - Chiến Mã

from by Dang Kim Hien

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This composition is a musical tribute to war horses that had shared the hardship with men and women at frontlines during times of conflict. The music depicts the feelings, spirit and endurance of a war horse through phases of a war.

This work is built on seven different modes of Vietnamese music (bồng mạc, sa mạc, hơi dựng (nhạc Huế), nam, bắc, xuân and đảo). All these seven modes have pitches selected from the equidistant seven-tone scale (the standard scale of authentic traditional music of Vietnam). In order to perform the music that shifts from one mode to another, the dan tranh is tuned to a five-tone pattern of the equidistant seven-tone scale.

This piece was written for a specially constructed 25-string dan tranh (Vietnamese zither) made for the composer in 1991 (The standard versions of traditional and contemporary dan tranh have 16, 17 or 22 strings).


from Melodia Nostalgica, released February 1, 2013
Dang Kim Hien: 25-stringed dan tranh (Vietnamese zither), wooden chopsticks and bells.



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Dang Kim Hien Melbourne, Australia

Dang Kim Hien is a composer, performer and educator. She is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, specialising in Vietnamese strings and percussion. She taught at the Department of Traditional Music of the Conservatory of Music in Saigon (Vietnam) between 1981 and 1994. She has performed extensively to present her original works on international platforms. ... more

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