Today, we will take you to Âu Lạc (Vietnam), to explore and enjoy the poetic and alluring beauty of the Moon Lute, a folk musical instrument classified as one of the national treasures of this beautiful country. The Moon Lute has other names such as “Kìm” Lute, Double-stringed Lute or Gentleman Lute. From its moon-shaped body, it was named the Moon Lute. The Moon Lute came to Âu Lạc during the Lý dynasty, around the 16th century, and quickly transformed and became the most loved instrument in the plucked-string family of this country. Regarding the origin of the Moon Lute, according to former Professor Đặng Xuân Khải, the Traditional Music Department’s Dean of The Vietnam National Academy of Music, the Moon Lute has existed since the 16th century. “The Moon Lute from China came to Âu Lạc (Vietnam) as a 4-string lute. However, the artisans in the Huế Imperial Palace changed it into two strings, so its sound became sharper.” “In the Nguyễn dynasty, as our kings cared very much for our culture which includes arts, to have something unique for Âu Lạc (Vietnam), the king decided to have this lute turned into the Moon Lute.” “The Moon Lute is very different from other musical instruments. All other string instruments have openings in their body so that sound can escape. But the Moon Lute requires that its body’s front, back, bottom, and neck need to be all airtight. The Moon Lute requires no openings. However, the person who plays the Moon Lute has to pluck hard so that the sound comes out strong and clear.” The long neck of the Moon Lute enables the frets to produce loud, soft, long, short sounds to transform high pitch sounds, and to portray a wide range of emotions. To close the program, we invite you to enjoy the song “Forget Me Not,” composed by Supreme Master Ching Hai, with the Moon Lute performance by artist Phan Thị Mai Chung, and illustrated dance by our Association members.