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All about the Hue Royal Refined Music – Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue

With amazing landscapes and relics of the Feudal era, Hue is always on the list of must-visit cities in Vietnam. Once you’re here, don’t miss the chance to enjoy its signature performing art, “Hue Royal Refined Music.”

What is Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue

Hue Royal Refined Music or Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue means “elegant music of the Hue royalty” in Vietnamese. This performing art usually appeared at the opening and closing ceremonies in royal events. Its orchestra includes musicians wearing ao dai and turban who play traditional instruments like the erhu, flute, 16-string zither, etc.

In the 19th century, this genre was considered national music because it showed the royal dynasty’s influence in every aspect of life. Interestingly, despite the word “royal” in its name, this genre was prevalent among aristocrats and commoners.

hue royal refined music show
Hue Royal Refined Music is a crucial part of the Hue Festival

hue royal refined music instrument
Instruments used during the performance

History of Hue Royal Refined Music

Hue Royal Refined Music first appeared in the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225) but was officially performed during the Le Dynasty (1427-1788). However, it was not until the Nguyen Dynasty (1802- 1945) that Hue Royal Refined Music peaked and became a symbolic form of music in Vietnamese royalty. The Nguyen kings classified it into seven types, each becoming an indispensable part of a specific ritual.

For instance, Te Giao is for offering worship to Earth and Heaven, while Dai Trieu Nhac is for special occasions or welcome ceremonies. In 2003, Hue Royal Refined Music was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage. It has been introduced to the world and has a strong reputation for its uniqueness.

hue royal refined music old
Music performance in the Nguyen Dynasty

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Where to Enjoy Hue Royal Refined Music

Duyet Thi Duong Theater

Built nearly 200 years ago under the Nguyen Dynasty, this is the first theater to organize Nha nhac Cung dinh Hue performances. It was also a venue for performing arts like Vietnamese opera and dance. Apart from being a theater, it offers an exhibition, a souvenir shop, and royal cuisine. After seeing the performance, you can tour the famous Imperial Citadel of Hue.

Address: The Imperial Citadel, Phu Hau, Hue City

Showtime: 10 AM – 10:40 AM; 3 PM – 3:40 PM

Ticket price: VND 200,000

The majesty, solemnity, and sacredness here will impress you

This bilingual announcement will inform you about the showtime and ticket price

Perfume River

When the sun and the lights go up, the Perfume River sparkles with all the colors of the stylized dragon boats. These transports unhurriedly drift in the mist while the audience attentively watches the appealing music show, making a wonderful experience. Each show lasts one hour, including sightseeing time and time for releasing lanterns into the Perfume River.

Address: Toa Kham Boat Station, 49 Le Loi Street, Phu Hoi, Hue City

Showtime: from 7 PM or 8 PM

Ticket price: VND 100,000

Book tickets online to see Nha nhac Cung dinh Hue here

Conclusion on Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue

Distinctive and historic as it is, Hue Royal Refined Music is a form of art that you will not find anywhere else. Hue Royal Refined Music might seem outdated and unattractive compared to catchy and vibrant songs on music charts. But once you sense the serene ambiance of Hue City, you will feel the music’s power even without understanding a single word.

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