Xam singing preserved in Ha Nam province

Xam singing is a traditional art form of the Vietnamese people in the northern region. It is mostly practiced in public venues where people gather, such as wharves, markets and communal houses. Join us to find out more about how the art form is practiced in Ha Nam province.


Pham Trong Luc is often referred to as the person who revitalised Xam singing in the Red river delta province of Ha Nam. Indeed, besides jotting down Xam lyrics from his mother, Luc also travelled around the province to learn more songs from local elders.

He has inspired many local people to preserve and promote the rhythms.

Xam singing in Ha Nam province is mostly practiced in traditional markets with simple musical instruments, including đàn nhị (a Vietnamese bowed string instrument with two strings)drums, and sênh tiền (a combination of clappers, rasps, and jingles made from three pieces of wood and old coins).

 Each song tells a story of a village or a historical period. They all have a positive vibe, expressing the cheerful attitude of local people regardless of the circumstances.

Ha Nam province has approved a scheme on preserving and promoting Xam singing and assigned it to the Provincial Centre for Culture and Arts. The province has also invited artisans both inside and outside of Ha Nam to collect, compose, and popularise traditional Xam songs, not only to adults but also to local primary school students./.