Musician Y Van – a “giant” of the Vietnamese “new music scene” |  Celebrity
09/16/2021 | 08:08

( – Y Van is a typical musician of Vietnamese new music from the late 1950s to the 1990s. Many of his compositions have become immortal, living forever and are performed by famous artists.

Musician Y Van – a “giant” of Vietnamese “new music”.Musician Y Van – a “giant” of Vietnamese “new music”.

Y Van – a talented musician and passionate about Tan Viet music

Possessing an artistic and romantic nature, Y Van studied music with teacher Ta Phuoc in his youth and practiced composition from an early age.

Despite difficult circumstances, fatherless and poor, the musician’s family had to take refuge together in a dilapidated shack in the Kham Thien market alley. He loved his mother and children very much, that’s why he had to leave. .

Due to hardship, musician Y Van taught piano to support his family. Due to hardship, musician Y Van taught piano to support his family.

Y Van’s life was full of difficult days, but his musical blood never ran cold. In 1945, he moved to the South to continue composing, playing music, harmonizing and teaching music, in addition to writing music and guitar teaching books.

This time marks a breakthrough in his new musical thinking while he is also a pioneer of light music with the first melodies chachacha, disco… in Vietnam. Immortal works like “60 Years of Life”, “Saigon”, “Illusion”… were born at this time.

The immortal work Saigon by musician Y Van.The immortal work Saigon by musician Y Van.

After 1975, he joined the Southern Perfume Music Troupe, writing music for many sources: film score writing, stage background music… He worked hard day and night to create a reasonable living for his family. He participates in the writing of film scores, the most famous being “Comme un flock de nightingales” in the children’s film “Lark in the City”.

After 1975, musician Y Van joined the Southern Huong music troupe (Y Van in the middle plays the piano).After 1975, musician Y Van joined the Southern Huong music troupe (Y Van in the middle plays the piano).

With exceptional musical successes, few people know that behind a talented musician there is a true artistic soul. His compositions reflect his human thoughts, love is a source of emotions which help him to sublimate himself in music.

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The musician Y Van understands that his work as a composer is not enough to generate economic income, but he has never stopped being passionate about musical tones and notes.

Musician Y Van (standing) holds the guitar. Musician Y Van (standing) holds the guitar.

The name Y Van means “Love Van”, the name of lady Tuong Van – his first lover, is the most concrete example of this musician’s love. He chose this name when the love story broke down, in order to respect and preserve this first love. Some of his songs were written about this love story like: Poor Boat, Illusion, Pale Sun…

Later, the musician Y Van had 2 wives and 8 children. Ms. Tran Thi Minh Lam officially married musician Y Van because musician Y Van’s former wife directly asked her to marry her. Next to a small sewing machine, every day she dedicates every stitch of needle and thread to serving as a fulcrum for Y Van’s song to continue flying through the years.

Musician Y Van and his wife.Musician Y Van and his wife.
She explained: “Y Van wrote about 200 songs, I registered the copyrights for 136 songs. My biggest wish is to be able to print a complete collection of Y Van’s songs!” In his memory, there still remains the skinny back of musician Y Van quietly writing music by nightlight. More than anyone, she understood that he wrote songs and composed soundtracks in the poor working-class neighborhood of Tran Huy Lieu Street, 3rd district of Ho Chi Minh City, not only with passion but also with responsibility for ‘a husband and a father.

He died in 1992, at the age of 60 (exactly as he predicted in the article 60 Years of Life).

Y Van – Multi-talented artist in many fields

Among the works of her life, it is impossible not to mention the song “Mother’s Heart”, composed in 1957, famous and considered one of the most representative, deep and sacred songs about maternal love. Since then, the song has been performed by many singers, so it is still a very familiar song to Vietnamese people from the day it was released until today.

Mother's Heart - a lifelong composition by musician Y Van.Mother’s Heart – a lifelong composition by musician Y Van.

In addition to music, Y Van also participates in the research and research of documents, songs, ancient music, from each locality… in the project “Folk Songs of Three Regions” with Nguyen Van Dong. The project includes 20 performances divided equally among three regions and was released nationally on Continental 6 cassette/disc. and an English version titled Traditional Vietnamese Songs to be offered to embassies of foreign countries and Vietnamese cultural agencies.

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Khanh Ly sang Mother’s Heart before 1975.

This work caused a sensation and was encouraged by UNESCO and provided expert support to help consolidate its global cultural heritage profile. However, due to the events of April 30, 1975, it could not be implemented.

Musician Y Van also proved her talent by releasing two books:

  • Self-taught Western music (fashion music – Jazz music) written with Lan Dai. This is commented as follows: “A carefully researched and compiled work, full of modern rhythms that will satisfy fans of fashion music and jazz music.”
  • Self-Study Spanish Cam (Flamenco Method), written in collaboration with Lan Dai, is the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand collection of methods, including 36 exercises needed to practice this special Spanish style of playing and 5 music . works composed specifically for solo and ensemble in the flamenco style.

Some information about the musician Y Van:

  • Full name: Tran Tan Hau
  • Year of birth: 1933
  • Place of birth: Hanoi
  • Hometown: Thanh Hoa
  • Date of death: November 28, 1992 in Ho Chi Minh

Typical works:

  • 60 years of life
  • Uterus
  • Illusion
  • Little brother is sad
  • 9 magical hours
  • You can
  • I tormented you
  • Where are you?
  • He came to me
  • He returned to the capital
  • Illusion
  • Ben Thuong
  • Sea of ​​sadness
  • Shadows of people from the same village
  • Rose bush
  • Sad
  • The letter on the blockhouse
  • Walk in the desert
  • Like a flock of nightingales
  • Like raindrops falling
  • Traces of the plateau
  • Footsteps in the desert
  • The days when I was away from my mother

Vu Thi Thanh Huyen