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Musician Tran The Bao: Putting his heart and soul to music for the love of life

With his intellectual witty jokes, The Bao always makes other laugh and remember him. He said ages are just milestones to a creative person. Therefore, the world of music is a place where he has been able to put all his heart and soul for the love of life and for the love of the country, no matter when he was a young man of 25 or he is a white-hair old man of over 80…

The Bao is currently a judge of the song-writing contest about Quang Ngai, held by the VLR magazine together with the Vietnam Association of Musicians

Musician Tran The Bao was born in 1937 in Dong Yen, Binh Duong, Binh Son, Quang Ngai Province- a little brother of the poet Te Hanh. At the end of 1954, he followed the Cultural and Artistic Troupe of the Zone 5 to relocate in the North and he attended the music school in 2956, studying Contrabass with Professor Nguyen Xuan Khoat. In 1959, he was kept at school to be the lecturer of the Vietnam Music School, currently Vietnam National Academy of Music. In 1980- 1991, he was the Dean of the Composition, musicology and Conducting Faculty of the HCMC Academy of Music. He was also in various positions of the Member of the Executive Board of HCMC Music Association, Member of the Executive Board of the Vietnam Association of Musicians, Editor-in-chief of Song Nhac Magazine, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Am Nhac Vietnam Magazine… As a researcher, he published great works as Suy Nghi Nhac Ve Luat Co Truyen Vietnam- First Prize Award by the Vietnam Association of Musicians 2011; Cam Nhan My Hoc- Second Prize Award by the Vietnam Association of Musicians 2013; Lich Su Am Nhac Viet Nam- First Prize Award by the Vietnam Association of Musicians 2017.

Talking about his works of research, The Bao said, when writing the book Lich Su Am Nhac Vietnam, he wrote it almost all day with the love for music. The book has 514 pages describing periods of the country’s history of music. It is divided into 4 parts with 12 chapters, describing Vietnam’s history of music from the time of King Hungs to the modern age. The Bao said music researchers used to pay much attention to events and less attention to people. Lich Su Am Nhac Vietnam remedied this: it is people who create history of music and have influence on periods in the history of music.

… “Ngai” is “Nghia”- love, sentimental attachment. This is the land of love and of sharing. Musicians should emphasize this when writing about the land, the land of literature talents.

Musician The Bao

Besides works of research, The Bao has written many instrumental works of music: concerto for piano and the orchestra; concerto for cello and the orchestra; Poetry Symphony Rung Sac; Thang Long Symphony; Grand chorus Tro Lai Truong Son and many other works that won awards by the Vietnam Association of Musicians. Besides, he had around 300 songs in the two volumes of Gui Gio Dua Huong. His works for Vietnam music include Suy Nghi Ve Luat Nhac Co Truyen (book), Concerto Piano and Small orchestra (instrumental), Concerto for Violoncello and the Orchestra (instrumental); and the song Nua Dem won the State’s Award in January, 2017.

Talking about The Bao, PhD Nguyen Dang VuFormer Director of the Department of Culture Sports and Tourism of Quang Ngai Province said: “PhD. Professor The Bao has had great contribution in training generations of musicians in the country and in training musicians originally from Quang Ngai. Many generations of musicians in Quang Ngai get matured and had great songs about love, about the country thanks to his teaching in open composing camps in the country of An Mountain and Tra River”.

He has always composed new works and has had great works about the home town of Quang Ngai as “Hoi Dong Song Tra”- a nostalgic gentle piece of work; or “Khuc Trang Ca Hai Doi Hoang Sa”- a piece of music with history of protecting our sovereignty…

The Bao has pursued the field of music and made his mark with it. He also has a brother- a famous poet Te Hanh, who wrote Nho Con Song Que Huong. He talked about his brother in grieve: “My brother- poet Te Hanh was interested in music. I have set music to his poetries Vuon Xua and Con Bao cua Anh, and he loved them. We put our world of childhood and the love of the country in Vuon Xua”.

The Bao is currently a judge of the song-writing contest about Quang Ngai, held by the VLR magazine together with the Vietnam Association of Musicians. Talking about the message that musicians of the songs about Quang Ngai wish to send to audience, The Bao said: “Ngai” is “Nghia”- love, sentimental attachment. This is the land of love and of sharing. Musicians should emphasize this when writing about the land, the land of literature talents. Many great poets and musicians were from Quang Ngai as Bich Khe, Nguyen Vi, Te Hanh, Thanh Thao, Truong Quang Luc, Pham Dang Khuong and Tran Dang Tien… I, therefore, expect musicians of the new generation will have new views and discover new things about the beloved land- Quang Ngai…

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