Pham Tuyen, a composer who writes history with music

Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 14:15:41

(VOVworld) – Pham Tuyen is a composer whose music has been closely associated with different periods of Vietnam’s history. Tuyen wrote music when he was filled with emotion, often to encourage himself or to predict a national victory. It has been said Tuyen wrote history with his music.
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Musician Pham Tuyen by the poster of the song “As if Uncle Ho were with us on Victory Day”.
Many of the songs written by Pham Tuyen are very familiar to generations of Vietnamese people: “Hanoi-Dien Bien Phu in the air”, “Truong Son cane”,  and “ As if Uncle Ho were with us on Victory Day”, which have touched the hearts of millions of Vietnamese people. Pham Tuyen has said music comes to him naturally from the simple things in life: “Some people say I wrote history with music but I used music as a weapon during the war. When I was working at the Voice of Vietnam, I closely watched the movement of liberation soldiers. On April 28, a pilot bombed Tan Son Nhat airport and I thought of the liberation of Sai Gon. I wrote the song “As if Uncle Ho were with us on Victory Day”.

Tuyen wrote songs to reflect Vietnam’s different historical periods. The song  “Hanoi- Dien Bien Phu in the air” was the first song about Hanoi’s 12 glorious days and nights fighting American bomb blasts. Tuyen wrote the song on the night of December 27, 1972, in the bomb shelter of the Voice of Vietnam Radio. The song provided great encouragement to civilians and soldiers to fight for victory. Musician Nguyen Thuy Kha fought on the Quang Tri battlefield: “All of us burst into tears when we heard Tuyen’s song on the Voice of Vietnam. I still feel moved when I listened to the song now. We had the feeling that our great losses and sacrifices at Quang Tri in 1972 would be repaid with a victory over the American imperialists”.

The song “ As if Uncle Ho were with us on Victory Day” was written by Pham Tuyen on April 28, 1975, two days before Sai Gon was totally liberated. The song was broadcast on the Voice of Vietnam on the reunification day on April 30, 1975. It was also heard in other countries such as Russia, Germany, Cuba, and China. Journalist Tran Mai Hanh is former President of Radio the Voice of Vietnam: “The song “ As if Uncle Ho were with us on Victory Day” was broadcast together with my report on how Southern Vietnam was liberated. I cried when my story was broadcast on May Day 1975”.

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Musician Pham Tuyen with his souvenirs.

“Truong Son cane” and “Songs of sleepless nights” closely followed Truong Son soldiers during fierce time to fight American imperialists. During peace time, Tuyen songs such as “A crossroad”, “The city of 10 flower seasons”, and “The Party gives us a spring” features peace and happiness. Pham Tuyen said music has been part of his life: “Beside entertainment, music is as a tool to encourage and educate people.  At present, music is written merely for entertainment. Those songs are easily forgotten”.

A performance of songs written by Pham Tuyen was held early this year to recall the songs which closely followed the ups and downs of Vietnamese history and reflected Vietnamese aspirations.


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