Phạm Duy (October 5, 1921 – January 27, 2013) was Vietnam's most prolific songwriter. With a musical career that spanned more than seven decades through some of the most turbulent periods of Vietnamese history and with more than one thousand songs to his credit, he is widely considered one of the three most salient and influential figures of modern Vietnamese music, along with Van Cao and Trinh Cong Son. His music is noted for combining elements of traditional music with new methods, creating melodies that are both modern and traditional.
Pham Duy divided his career into several periods:
- Folk Songs (Dân Ca), which recorded the images of the Vietnamese during the struggle for independence, culminating in his Song Cycles (Truong Ca), which join several folk tunes to proclaim the greatness of the Vietnamese people. Included in this period is his 1968 album, Folk Songs of Vietnam, released on Folkways Records.
- Heart' Songs (Tâm Ca) - which aimed to awake humanity's conscience, to protest against violence and inhumanity.
- Spiritual Songs (Đạo Ca), with a Zen character, which aimed to seek for the truth.
- Profane Songs (Tục Ca), which tackled head-on hypocritical attitudes and phony virtues.
- Children's Song (Nhạc thiếu nhi), Young Women's Songs (Nữ Ca) and Peace Songs (Bình Ca), which were songs of joy.
- Resistance Songs and for the motherland
- Refugees Songs and for life in exile.
In addition, his many love songs have been sung and learned by heart by three generations over the last forty years.
Download Phạm Duy's sheet music here
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