The Distinct Tonal Structure of Vietnamese Poetry Compared to English

The traditional Vietnamese poetry rhymes, just like the verses of Chinese or many European languages. Rhyme however differs from the rhyme system used in English and other languages, in which identical syllables are required.

Similar to other types of music the different generations of Vietnamese adapt poetry to different views and perspectives. Vietnamese culture is defined through the integration of music and poetry.


Similar to poetry from Chinese as well as other European languages, Vietnamese poems are rhymed. In Vietnamese poetry the rhyme is constructed by the meter, as well as by a back rhyme structure (rhyming the last syllables in one line before the first one that follow).

It is not just about words. It is also an expression of traditional values and cultural beliefs. Songs from Xam dating back to the 14th century, as an instance, communicate a broad array of traditional village values. These songs demonstrate love for family, respect and loyalty to parents and as well, the importance of honesty as well as good will to maintain harmony.

Vietnamese music and poetry serve to bridge the many cultural traditions of Vietnam. Additionally, it’s an act of self-expression which helps artists face problems and difficulties of everyday life.


The heritage of Vietnamese music has been carried on by a number of organizations and individuals, from the localities to universities. The associations, clubs and institutions have been set up to encourage tuong – a classical performing art involving singing, acting, as well as movement. Tuong is a crucial part of the culture of Vietnam, specifically to worship ancient gods and goddesses. Artists need to be skilled at singing and speaking to their part.

The poems and the music contain numerous harmonic characteristics. The poetry or songs of folklore tend to be intricate with reversals in sound. These reversals aid in maintaining the musicality of the songs.

Vietnamese music stands out in its improvisation and ornamentation. Vietnamese Nguyen Du music is also infusing some foreign influences.

Cultural significance

Music’s meta-cultural quality and poetry creates a path through the cultural landscape. They’re time capsules which preserve moments from Vietnamese identity and history.

Much like verses as in Chinese, Vietnamese poetry has both meter and rhyme. Tone classes can be determined by the amount of syllables that a word contains. Vowel sounds decide the type of class: sharp (thu), flat (thu) sharp (cn), or smooth (sanh,tai).

The regional and musical styles as well as the music of folk songs are different across the United States. These songs reflect the culture of various groups and the themes range from the beauty of nature to daily difficulties. The traditional instruments used included the Dan-Nguyet (Vietnamese Monochord) as well as the dan-bau. This music survived through the post-war period of resettlement and is preserved up to the present day

Human Evolution

During the colonial period, Vietnamese court music and poetry took on Chinese influences. However, since the country opened up in 1975, Vietnamese poetry and music have incorporated diverse styles from across the globe.

Vietnamese poetry distinguishes syllables using the number of syllables and their tone. It is distinct from English, classical Greek or Latin verses where stress is a factor. In the line of regulation poetry, there’s six diverse tones, with some being flat and others sharp.

The Cai Luong opera, as an example, is inspired by Don ca Tai Tu and Mekong Delta folk melodies, however, it is infused with elements from older Vietnamese stories, Nom poetry, and writings about Vietnam tradition as well as traditional Indian, Egyptian Roman, and Japanese tales. One of the distinctive features of this type of traditional Vietnamese music is the cultural blend.

Cultural Preservation

The awe-inspiring diversity of Vietnam’s culture music comes from a blend of diverse ethnicities and genres. Even though they are all part of the same musical style every ethnic group has distinct rhythms and styles of music. For instance, the lullabies sung by the Kinh people, for example is distinct from those of Dao, Muong or Dao.

These traditions of music are made possible by a variety of instruments and styles. Apart from cheo and the tuong genre, these include cai cuong (traditional stage music) quian ho, water puppets, “ly” singing, and nha nhac – Hue royal court music dating back to the Tran and Nguyen the dynasties. UNESCO has recognized these musical masterpieces as an integral part of the cultural heritage. The musical works provide a wealth of information for any person who wants to preserve the cultural identity of a particular country.