Tính tẩu [đàn tính]
- Trân Quang Hai
- , revised by Nguyen Thuyet Phong
Spike lute of the Tày, Thái, and Nùng peoples of northern Vietnam. It has a half-gourd (tẩu) soundbox 15 to 25 cm in diameter, with pierced soundholes and a plain wooden soundtable. The neck, tapering towards the top, is about 80 cm long and unfretted, with lateral tuning pegs, and terminates in a back-curved ornamentally carved head. Small bells are sometimes attached. Among the Tày and Thái peoples it has two silk strings, among the Nùng it has three. Other sizes of tính tẩu are made.
The instrument is said to have been introduced to court music ensembles in the 16th century. It was suppressed during the mid-20th century but revived in the 1980s. It is popularly played by men and women to accompany folk songs and dances and at celebrations, and again in rituals where it is believed to take on magical and sacred powers. Various taboos are then associated with it....