LY QUYET TIEN
DEPARTMENT OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES
HO CHI MINH CITY OPEN UNIVERSITY
When talking about Vietnam modern history, people often think of a country immersed in blood and bombs in the 1960s and 1970s. The Vietnam War had escalated beginning in 1965 with the direct intervention of the American military and its allies in Southern Vietnam. It is during the most challenging period of the war that typical Saigonese Vietnam modern music flourished, and a constellation of composers and singers that made the 1960s and 1970s the golden age of southern Vietnamese music appeared. Inheriting the tradition of Vietnamese Folk Music, the treasure of reformatted music pre-1945, these talented composers enriched and embellished the musical life of the Southern Vietnamese by creating a school of Saigonese modern music diversified in styles, themes and types. Songs were written using the rhythms of the tango, the rhumba, the waltz, and the bolero rhythm on topics ranging from love, nostalgia, war tragedy, human destiny to the antiwar movement. All degrees of individuality were manifested against an artistic background based on the ever-changing beauty of nature. The proliferation of these songs animated the musical life of the Saigon people, helped them to find relaxing moments of peace amidst the hardship of a country in continuous war. These songs helped people approach life more positively and made it worth living during the struggle for peace.
This paper intends to present different aspects of musical life of Saigon in 1960s and 1970s. The artistic products of the mentioned period, thought to be lost and forgotten the time when Vietnam experienced difficulties after 1975, have survived and been rediscovered, leaving impressive prints of the life of the Vietnamese and have thus become a precious cultural pearl in Asian culture.
Keywords: modern music, love, song. culture, Saigon