Hat Quan Ho

    Hat quan ho (also called Quan ho Bac Ninh) is a typical folk song of the Kinh in Bac Ninh Province originating from the ancient alternating of songs between young men and women.


     Hat quan ho performances are chiefly held in villages during annual festivals. This music is closely linked to the traditional meeting of young men and women, as well as to the establishment of a relationship between two villages. Apart from some songs intended for praying or praising, most hat quan ho songs are romantic. Ironically, quan ho performers of the same group are traditionally not allowed to get married to each other.

     Hat quan ho performances are held either indoors or outdoors. They are sung in pairs, one pair of men and one pair of women, and the performance follows a specific order for the melody and the lyrics.

     Hat quan ho folk songs have become highly significant in Kinh folk songs. The number of quan ho songs preserved exceeds 180, not including variations of the same songs. The cham of hat quan ho is the result of a number of elements, including beautiful thoughts, popular but refined and emotional words abundant in imagery, rich melodies, quality of voice and a special technique of vibrato called nay hat.

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