POEM IN CA TRÙ
Nguyễn Đức Mậu
Poem plays an important role in Ca trù. Many music researchers say that singing Ca trù is singing poem. Of 46 tunes of Ca trù, there are more than 10 tunes expressed in available poems or styles of poetry like Tỳ bà. The song Tỳ bà hành by Bạch Cư Dị was converted into seven-seven-six-eight-word-meter. As for reciting poem tunes, just recite 5 Thien thai poems by Tào Đường or 3 Thanh Bình tune poems by Lý Bạch. Reciting poetic essay includes Tien Xich Bich and Hau Xich Bich by Tô Đông Pha. Others like bắc phản, cung bắc sometimes used six-eight word meters. Structurally, those are available for familiar types and beyond the scope of particular creativity because they do not originate from Ca trù’s activity environment like recitative. Recitative is a main tune of Ca trù and has become an independent poem type. In terms of literature, recitative has a particular form structure and special type content. Unlike other tunes of Ca trù that only stop at some fixed works, recitative has increased to thousands of works in quantity and has been composed for many centuries. For those reasons, we only present the most distinctive characteristic of Ca trù. That is recitative.
Recitative has a specially complete and stable structure. Such elements as framework, conclusion sentence, way of organizing rhyme, etc together with redundancy or deficiency of stanza which only happens in middle stanza,...have localized recitative form with other types of poem. A complete stanza recitative (11 sentences), redundancy of stanza (more than 11 sentences), deficiency of stanza (less than 11 sentences), always have 6 word conclusion sentence, rhythm accord including cước vận (terminal rhyme) and yêu vận (medial rhyme), both uneven and even tone, number of words moving freely and often ranging from 4 to 20. Normally, there are two verses in Han language standing in the fifth and sixth line of the work of the middle stanza which is called dựng poem. The way of calling this dựng verse has connection with that of singing these two verses. Above the recitative is two or four six-word verses called mưỡu. Two verses are called single mưỡu and four verses, double mưỡu. Mưỡu above the recitative is called mưỡu đầu or mưỡu tiền (pre mưỡu) and at the end of the recitative is called mưỡu hậu (post mưỡu). However, it is not absolutely necessary to have mưỡu in a recitative. The last word of the first sentence of the recitative is always used with uneven tone. After cước vận trắc (uneven tone) is two cước vận bằng (even tones) and then two cước vận trắc (uneven tones).
Recitative finds terminal rhyme closely and does not have sentence gap as in four-line and eight-line meter poem. Except the first verse existing independently in terminal rhyme system, from the second verse forward the terminal rhyme is always structured as even, even; uneven, uneven; even, even. Number of verses and words and seven-seven-six-eight has not been specific but in a recitative, the presence of six-word verse, two poem verses or sometimes even contrary verses, etc and six-word conclusion is special trait of recitative. Six-word verse is uneven of any recitative, i.e. full, redundant, deficient recitatives. Some people explain that rhythm only comes to an end if coin clappers's beat is at uneven sentence. If stopping at the even sentence, singing sentence finishes but there is still the rhythm of coin clappers. Let's take some full, redundant, deficient stanza recitatives and their rules as examples for further understanding. For example, a full stanza recitative is: Meeting female singer Hồng and Tuyết (including two mưỡu)
Ngày xưa Tuyết muốn lấy ông
Ông chê Tuyết bé, Tuyết không biết gì
Bây giờ Tuyết đã đến thì
Ông muốn lây Tuyết, Tuyết chê ông già
In the old day, Tuyết wanted to get married to him
He despised that she was too young
Now she has grown up
He wants to get married with her, but she despises his old age
Nước nước biếc, non non xanh
Pre- Mưỡu 2 Sớm tình tình sớm, trưa tình tình trưa
Nhớ ai tháng đợi năm chờ
Nhớ người độ ấy, bây giờ là đây
Mountains and water are all blue and fresh All day long
Longing for somebody for years
Now that person is standing in front of me
1. Hồng Hồng, Tuyết Tuyết
2. Mới ngày nào chưa biết cái chi chi
3. Mười lăm năm thắm thoắt có xa gì
4. Nghoảnh mặt lại đã tới kì tơ liễu
1. Hồng Hông, Tuyết Tuyêt
2. That day still little, knowing nothing
3. Fifteen years passing by
4. Maiden time has come
7. Cười cười nói thẹn thùmg
8. Mà bạch phát với hồng nhan chừng ái ngại
7. When I was strong to travel everywhere, she was just a little girl
8. Now she gets married, I become an old man.
9. Smiling and saying in shy
10. White hair with beautiful girl (rosy-cheeked) seems to feel compassion.
Xếpcanto 10. Khéo ngây ngây dại dại với tình
11. Đàn ai một tiếng Dương tranh
9. Just taking pleasure in virgin forest
10.But being stupid for love
11.By whom the instrument is played
Lack of canto song (This song does not have a title):
1.Đồng thị thiên nhai luân lạc khách
2.Gặp nhau đây vôi trách nhau chi
3.Mặt tài tình là mấy nam nhi
4.Đã dan díu lại, thôi đi thì cũng dại
1. We all roam the world
2. Meeting here, don't blame each other
3. Men should be talented and genrous
4. Meeting each other here, why don't be close to each other, not leave to feel regret
(Lack of middle canto)
9. Sách có chữ: thanh xuân nan tái
10.Buồn cho ai mà ái ngại cho ai
11.Núi cao sông hãy còn dài
9.Youth is hard to return
10.Sad and sorry for whom
Below is the example of a song having a redundant canto:
Cuốn chiếu hết nhân tình.
11. Sách có chữ: lâm hành tiễn biệt
12. Khách với tình xưa quen biết chi nhau
13. Họ tên chi? Nhà cửa ở đâu
14. Ngán ngẩm vì nỗi nước lã ao bèo thêm đểnh đoảng
a. Seeing off when setting off
a. You and I do not know each other
b. About name and residence
c. Bored of no relation
6a. Tôi hát chơi mà khách cũng nghe chơi
7a.Thảm thiết chi mà giọt ngọc tuôn rơi
8a. Mai mốt đã ngược xuôi người mỗi xứ
5a. In the moon, we toast to each other to celebrate
6a. Singing for fun and hope so does my guest
7a. Why tears run down
8a. We will be separated in different places in one of these day
5.Cô nhạn nam phi hồng bắc khứ
6.Nhàn vân tây vãng thủy đông lưu
7.Khách về nhà đã có bạn khâm trù
8. Vui vẻ đêm thanh vầy tiệc ngọc
9.Đã trót ôm cầm chơi liễu mạch
10.Thú cầm ca c òn l ắm l úc chơi vui
11. Kìa kìa cá nước chim giời
5. Swallow lost its group flying to the South, wild goose to the North
6. Cloud to the West and water to the East
7.Having friend to share blanket and pillow, having wife at home
8.Happy at night together with wife
9.Coming to the house of songstress by mistake
10.To be delighted with music and song
11.Remember that is just fish in the water and birds in the sky
Example of a recitative having pre-mưỡu and post-mưỡu: Lộ diệc vũ trùng:
Cái cò lặn lội bờ sông
Gánh gạo đưa chồng tiếng khóc nỉ non
To carry rice in supporting husband, bittering crying
Lộ diệc vũ trùng trung chi nhất
Thương cái cò lặn lội bờ sông
Tiếng nỉ non gánh gạo đưa chồng
Ngoài nghìn dặm một trời một nước
Trông bóng nhạn bâng khuâng từng bước
Nghe tiếng quyên khắc khoải năm canh
Phận tép tôm ai nỡ dứt tình
Ơn thủy thổ phải đền cho vẹn xóng
Trường tên, đạn, xin chàng bảo trọng
Thiếp lui về nuôi cái cùng con
Cao bằng cách trở nước non
Mình trong trắng có quỷ than a hộ
Sức bay nhảy một phen năng nổ
Đá Yên Nhiên còn đó chẳng mòn
Swallow is a bird having feather
Sympathy for its hard-working
To support its husband, bittering crying
Alone and alone
Looking shadow of swallow, stepping hesitately
During five watches listening cuckoo
Small fate, hard to forget feelings
Owing the country, have to show gratitude
In battlefield, take care of yourself
I stay at home with our children
Despite the distance and challenge
Genie will help
Try your best
Da Yen Mountain is still there for calling your name
Đồng hưu rạng chép thẻ son
Chàng nên danh giá, thiếp còn trẻ trung
Yêu nhau khăng khít dải đồng
When the country is peaceful, share happiness together
Achieve your honor, I am still young
A recitative is independent from a fixed piece of music. Performer of recitative is completely under the control of verses. When starting the recitative, the performer has to focus on short lyrics, which are easy or difficult to deal with appropriately. Recitative is divided into cantos. There are two ways to divide. One is based on music and the other on liturature. The former linked closely to terminology, expressing music tempo such as xuyên thưa, xuyên mau, etc. Xuyên thưa is three drum beats on the forth lyric, which is adagio. Xuyên mau is three drum beats on the eighth lyric, which is quicker. Some people divide the song into seven canto. They are lá đầu, xuyên thưa, thơ, xuyên mau, dồn, xếp, keo. Others divide it into six cantos with different ways of calling such as khổ nhập đề, khổ xuyên tâm, khổ thơ, khổ xếp, khổ rải, khổ kết and called khổ dầu, khổ xuyên, khổ thơ, khổ giữa, khổ dồn hay xếp, khổ dãi. In terms of the later, a recitative is devided into three cantos namely first, middle and last. Each song has three stanzas, the first two of which has four lyrics for each and the last of which has three lyrics.
Another specific point is the choice to put two Han verses in the middle. That position brings the feeling of the symetry and creates proportion in the whole song because before and after Han verses are Chinese-transcriped Vietnamese. Characteristics of the subject show the stability of type art structure and also point out that parts of type have fixed art function. In units of recitiative verse, it is the first time in Vietnamese verses, empty words has been mostly used and verse of prose having rhythm has created one more specific characteristic for recitiative.
2. Rhyme and rhythm.
A common characteristic is that recitative is in tune with a number of three words. This characteristic is along with the length of recitative history. There is no separation in terminal rhyme with unchanged time length. However, medial one is different. It has been reinforced since late XlXth century afterward. All of recitatives in Tản Đà, who was a recitative composer in early XXth century, use medial rhymes. Medial rhyme in six-eight word distiches meter and double-seven perhaps plays a positive role in connecting verses and lines with each other and creating continuity. However, in recitative, that role is for terminal rhyme and medial one only creates accord consonance and more lissome for the verse. The role of medial rhyme in recitative maybe dominates that of terminal one but number of medial rhyme founded in a recitative appears three or four times. Pieces of medial rhyme that do not play an overwhelming role in recitative are those by Nguyễn Công Trứ and Phan Bội Châu, making us think of its humble role in recitative law of prosody. However, in recitative, if we put characteristic and position of medial rhyme in interrelation of other characteristics with recitative structure such as terminal rhyme; the presence of two verses now opposite now not opposite, now at the beginning now at the end; six-word or scarcely seven- word conclusion sentence, etc, we will see the loosing, lack of serious principles of law of prosody and the role of elements.
Rhyme and rhythm in recitative as analyzed and compared above are also formed as poetry prosody but flexible. Prosody is not as strict bidding and it helps express fantasy content. Typical rhyme and rhythm of 3/2/2; 3/2/3; 3/3 and terminal and medial rhymes that do not separate the rhyme are sufficient to show it belongs to national style of poetry (this is different from eight- sentence poem originating from China, hold on 4 March and having broken medial rhyme structure). A strange thing is that conclusion sentence of a recitative is almost 2/2/2 and the last word of the conclusion sentence is always even tone.
3. Verses and words
Eleven sentence unit is taken to distinguished a recitative of full, redundant, or deficient stanza. A redundant stanza recitative can be prolonged to seventy six sentences such as Hương Sơn phong cảnh. That is the freedom in number of sentence in a recitative. However, despite its freedom in number of sentence, recitative can not prolong itself as reciting of a Vietnamese-transcribed story does. In the interrelation between elegy and Vietnamese-transcribed story, characteristic, capacity and type of poetry that it uses are as convention of the length of such type. Elegy does not prolong as Vietnamese-transcribed story does. Number of sentences in a recitative is not limited as strictly as that in eight- sentence poem, four-line poem and unable to prolong as elegy and Vietnamese- transcribed story do. That external characteristic allows us to consider recitative middle addition, ties between words, sentences of eight -sentence poem, four-line poem in terms of number and the prolongation of elegy and Vietnamese- transcribed story. Also, it can be seen zoning assignment of types of recitative since a characteristic of the singing type is music and the time duration.
The specific characteristics of recitative is not limited or restricted in words and sentence because it does not only happen to recitative but also in the prose characteristic of the sentence. The prose characteristic does not depend on the length but the organizing of word type together with rhythm and sound in a sentence unit, creating the sentence closely to common one. In a verse full of prose characteristic, mere words, connectives are often used but their presence is not enough to take shape of prose characteristic of the verse. Rhyme can make a verse having mere words and connectives to be flexible and harmony. Therefore, the prose characteristic decreases too dramatically to recognize. In recitative, because the need of direct speech of viewpoint ideas, thoughts to show one's talent, the type of recitative is mainly on tone of voice. Structure of recitative is reasoning. Its sentences are expression and argument. Never than ever before that in Vietnamese Literature there are so many reasoning sentences as those in recitative. Lets's pay attention to words like "khi... đã nên" in sentence below:
- Ông Hy Văn tài bộ đã vào lồng
Khi Thủ khoa, khi Tham tán, khi Tổng đốc Đông
Gồm thao lược đã nên tay ngất ngưởng.
Hy Văn is a talent
Now the first in examination, now the counselor and
province chief Strategies are very high and perfect to become excellent.
Or words forming sentence models in such recitative of Nguyễn Công Trứ "cái…là…ở dâu…cứ…sao không…cũng…" Below is one of the examples:
- Cái khóa giàm là giống ở đâu
Cứ lẽo đẽo cặp kề hiên cái
Đôi kẻ biết sao không tỉnh lại
Dẫu thiên hô vạn hoán cũng u ơ
Fame and fortune make freedom get lost Mandarins' freedom also gets lost Somebody can not be awake So many times of calling, no sign of awaking
Furthermore, there is a passage like syllogism "from ... to ... result". Grammatically, it is close 1o prose. Functionally, it is of reasoning sentence, especially if it is put in the whole passage: thử ngẫm, cớ sao, thì, từ, đếm, lại. Not only reasoning, arguing structure appear with high frequency but also comparative method is used by Nguyễn Công Trứ in the whole recitative to highline and express the matte r for conclusion and confirmation
If putting rhyme of 6 word conclusion sentence in that of the whole recitative, we will find that as for non-post mưỡu recitative, only this conclusion sentence has even rhyme 2/2/2, and sentences above it (except for two dung ones) are uneven 3/2/2 3/2/3, 3/3/3. Hence, in a classical recitative, there are four points to broke rhythm: before two contrary lines of verses, at two contrary lines of verse, after 1he two contrary lines of verses and conclusion sentence, i.e, uneven tempo moving to tempo 4/3 of dựng line of verse, repeating uneven tempo and then even tempo 2/2/2 of conclusion sentence. In some sentences before the Conclusion sentences which are free in length and tempo, they change in terms of rhythms and syllables (number of words) are stopped with tempo 2/2/2 at the conclusion sentence. This sudden stop creates considerable gathering of accord consonance. Due to the rhythm of 2/2/2 , the prose characteristics of the conclusion sentence is less than others in a recitative (except for two verses).
If two Han verses and 6 word conclusion sentence make the recitative have four places for breaking a recitative also has three types of sentence:
Firstly free sentence with many long or short words depending on the author. Secondly, two dựng verses of 7 words are usually taken from poem rules and 6 word sentence to conclude the recitative. (Here, we only take classical- structured recitatives into consideration and excluded 7, 8 word conclusion sentences for their rareness). Three types of sentence and synthesis of the recitative from traditional poetry type.
Of words mostly used and leaving impressions are personal pronouns because they reflect individuality. It seems that in Vietnamese history, only recitatives have phenomenon that poets talk about themselves, show their talent, love and entertainment so much, uncontrolled and greedy like that. The first personal pronouns such as ngô, ngã, ta appear mostly in Hán, and Nôm poems with modest and humble sense. In recitative, that sense is different.
Recitative after a period of establishment and development has been used to express many different contents, in which there are satirical, patriotic and revolutionary propaganda content bringing high art efficiency. Although it is used to express many contents, it cannot be completely successful in all contents. Of recitatives that are considered wonderful, the unique and identical contents are mainly about heroic will and strong spirit whose manifestations are free, and about handsome men and beautiful women. In Oriental environment of traditional society, ca quán (cabaret) of Ca trù is a free environment nourishing individually free speech.
Many rather good recitatives having other contents such as Xuân cảm (Feeling of the Spring), Bài ca chúc Tết thanh niên (Welccome the Tet for the youth), Chơi xuân (Enjoying the spring) by Phan Bội Châu, Bài hát lưu biệt (The song of separation) by Huỳnh Thúc Kháng. Those songs are good for its heroic spirit and vitality. Such recitatives have heroic sense. However, with responsibilities, self-confidence originating from solidarity over individuality, despite spirit (Thanks to group, I myself can exist. Group is respected but I am inferior) " Ư bách niên trung tu hữu ngã",” đấng trượng phu tùy ngộ nhi an " as in Bài hát lưu biệt by Huynh Thuc Khang or decisive and strong, grandiose as in The song to welcome the Tet for the Youth by Phan Bội Châu:
Ghé vai vào xốc vác cựu giang san
Đi cho êm, đứng cho vững cho vững, trụ cho gan
Dây thành bại quyết ghe phen liên hiệp lại
Shoulder my share of responsibilities for the country To walk smoothly, stand stably and bravely Success or failure, try to be hand in hand
it is strange and different from control, unsteadiness that we often meet in recitative. The spirit of deep patriotism in recitatives of soldiers who are heroic and full of responsibilities bring them new attraction leading to different direction but rather strange with attraction of generous or loveable spirit on the basis of tom-tom music in cabaret. That heroic sonority of propagandizing literature also brings with it the uncontrolled style, also strongly propagandizing but different from that conceited by talented Confucian scholar in recitative. Such recitatives are certainly no allowed to introduce in cabaret and in Ca trù collection before the 80s of the XXth century. They also cannot participate in performing environment.
In Vietnamese folklore melodies, only Ca trù establishes a type of poem called recitative, which means no other ones can do like that such as Quan họ, Chèo, Ca Lý, Dặm singing. It is also hard to find such a short, stable-structured type of poetry of special appearance and content in
. Recitative is a unique type of poetry not only for its content and appearance but also for its either tune of Ca trù or kind of literature. Vietnam
1.Lê Thước: Career and poety of Excellency Uy Viễn Nguyễn Công Trứ. H. 1928.
2.Đỗ Bằ ng Đoàn – Đỗ Trọng Huề: Treatise of Vietnamese Ca trù, S. 1962.
3. Trần Đình Hượu:
medieval and contemporary Liturature Publishing House of Culture and Information, H. 1995. Vietnam
4.Nguyên Tài Cẩn: Influences of the Lý – Trần poetry and liturature through poem and language of Nguyên Trung Ngan. Publishing House of Education, H. 1998.
 . YVT: uneven medial rhyme - medial rhyme is uneven. CVB: terminal rhyme is even.
 . YVB: even medial rhyme - medial rhyme is even. CVT: terminal is uneven. Td lilu: maiden girl.
 . When I traveled everywhere, you were still little. Now, you get married, I become an old man.
 . All travelers around the world.
 . Youth is hard to return
 . Seeing off when setting off
 . Swallow lost its group flying to the South, wild goose to the North, cloud to the and water to the East.
 . Having friend to share blanket and pillow, having wife at home
 . Taking singing as career for a long time.
 . Swallow is a bird having feather
 . Some books say that is country land We still suspect his explanation
 . Genie helps
 . Name of a mountain in Han period. Merits will be carved there.
 . Happy with the nation when the enemy goes away.
 . Love forever
 . Fame and wealth make freedom get lost.
 . Currently, the Parasol — tool for mandarin, i.e. fame and wealth following the mandarin making his freedom get lost.
 . Many times of recalling but no seeing reason