Musician Do Nhuan – a pioneer of Vietnam’s revolutionary music

(VOVWORLD) - Musician Do Nhuan (1922 – 1991) is a veteran of Vietnam’s revolutionary music. In his career, Do Nhuan wrote many works in various genres – songs, operas, ‘cheo’ (Vietnamese traditional opera), film soundtracks, and chamber music. He was one of the founding members of the Vietnam Musicians’ Association in 1957 and served as General Secretary of the Association from 1957 to 1983.

Musician Do Nhuan – a pioneer of Vietnam’s revolutionary music - ảnh 1Musician Do Nhuan. (Photo:

The song “Dien Bien triumph” by Do Nhuan was chosen as the first jingle broadcast on the Voice of Vietnam. This is one of the many classic songs he wrote that live in the hearts of Vietnamese music lovers.

“Do Nhuan had a vibrant music career and became a revolutionary musician and revolutionary soldier. He laid the foundation for the Vietnam Musicians’ Association and was a pioneer of Vietnam’s revolutionary music. His compositions covered different genres and were inspired by Vietnamese folk music,” said musician Duc Trinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Musicians’ Association.

Do Nhuan was born in the northern province of Hai Duong. He taught himself to play a number of Vietnamese and European musical instruments. Nhuan was a talented musician and also a passionate revolutionary during the resistance wars against the French and the US. He took the experiences of his life and military career as a source of inspiration for many classic songs like “Guerrillas on the Thao River”, “Dien Bien Liberation,” and “Far-away Marching”.

At the time when Vietnamese music was mainly influenced by the romantic genre, Do Nhuan was a pioneer of revolutionary music written to arouse patriotism.  

“Do Nhuan took his musical inspiration from the nation and Vietnam’s traditional culture. That brought success for his works,” said musician Do Hong Quan, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Literature and Arts and Do Nhuan’s son.

Do Nhuan did a lot of research on Vietnamese folk music and combined it with modern world music. In 1965, he created the first homegrown Vietnamese opera - "Miss Sao" – which depicts the revolution and human liberation.

As Secretary General of the Vietnam Musicians’ Association, Do Nhuan promoted Vietnamese music to the world through music tours of Europe and Asia.

“Do Nhuan’s music was diverse, from opera and chamber music to popular songs. His musical works are still popular today,” said musician Duc Trinh.

Do Nhuan passed away in 1991 at the age of 69. In 1996, he was posthumously awarded the Ho Chi Minh Prize.