Tay Nguyen Gong Music is a traditional form of art that came from the Tay Nguyen region, Central Highlands, in Vietnam.
Tay Nguyen Gong Music is a traditional form of art that came from the Tay Nguyen region, Central Highlands, in Vietnam. This type of music is commonly played in communal activities of ethnic minorities such as the Gia Rai, Ba Na, Co Ho, Brau, and Ede Kpah among others. The gong is an instrument that is made of a mixture of gold, bronze, silver, or brass.
Gong is also considered as a valuable property in a family; and the size and age of a gong is decisive factor that a person is rich or not. The bigger and older gong is, richer a person is. The sound of gongs is said to be the way to communicate with the god or deities. Therefore, gong is a holy instrument in culture of ethnic groups in Tay Nguyen. There are two theories about the origin of Gong: one said that gong originated from Dong Son Culture as its similar features with Dong Son’s Bronze Drum. The second said gong originally was made of stone. When people knew how to use bronze tools, metal gong appeared.Gongs are usually played by men, but for few ethnic groups (like E De Bih) they are played by women only. People playing gongs wear colorful traditional costumes of their ethnic groups. Gong music is only performed in special events and festivals such as Gong Festival, Elephant Race Festival (in Buon Don, Dak Lak Province), Tay Nguyen Spring Festival, etc.Tay Nguyen Gong Music is a unique kind of music that has religious and artist values. It also represents time-honored culture and communal spirit of local ethnic groups. The space of gong culture in Central Highlandswas recognized by UNESCO as an oral-transmitted masterpiece and intangible cultural heritage of the humanity in 2005.