Music

The most beautiful love stories in the ancient Greek Mythology (cont.): Orpheus and Eurydice

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So in the previous post, I said that I would pick 3 love stories which I think were the most beautiful ones in the ancient Greek Myth. I already started with my favorite romance of all time, Psyche and Cupid, now I continue with my 2nd pick..

2. Orpheus and Eurydice:

Orpheus was a a very unusual type of character in the Greek Mythology. While most of the tales were about immortal gods or muscular heroes who built their glories upon killing and conquering, Orpheus appeared to be the most peaceful male character in the whole legend. He was a musician, a mortal human being, who used his 9-string lyre and his amazing music talent as weapons, and actually those turned out to be invincible weapons. It was him, Orpheus, not Heracles, Ulysses (Odysseus) or any other famous heroes, that could tame the vicious Cerberus guarding the gate to the Underworld and defeated the Siren‘s bewitching songs to save the life of the Argo sailors. (Sirens: the mermaids in Greek Mythology that lived on three islands in the sea. They often floated on the water singing the praise of the ocean’s beauty to seduce sailors. Their voice was described to be irresistibly enthralling, and if sailors didn’t cover their ears when passing this area they would jump out of the ships to follow the sirens and end up drowning in the sea).

Generally speaking, the legend about Orpheus’s triumph over Sirens as well as the taming of Cerberus and other fierce animals shows the supreme power of music. Sometimes music has the might to enchant, to lure, to kill but in the end it’s still the healer, the peace maker, the conqueror without killing or blood. And that made Orpheus become one of the most influencing characters in the whole Greek Myth. Even now in this modern world we can still see and feel his power whenever we cry or smile with a melody that touches our heart and soul, because that was also what Orpheus did during his time on Earth: to touch deeply within people’s heart, and no, not just people but every creature, from the birds, the tigers to the trees, the rocks and the water.

Orpheus got married to a Nymph named Eurydice. The legend didn’t say how they fell in love, so again I guess the part about how they kept their love alive was more important. They had a happy and harmonious life together. Orpheus loved Eurydice with all his heart and together with music, she was the reason he lived for. They often went together to the wood where Orpheus played his lyre and Eurydice sat by him putting her head on his shoulders and listening to his songs with admiration and certainly, love.

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African and Caribbean music in Hanoi

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Naby reggae concert in Hanoi
Naby reggae concert in Hanoi

A few years ago probably most Vietnamese people in Hanoi had no idea what reggae was and we also didn’t care if Jamaica was in America or Africa. And in fact even now a lot of Vietnamese people still don’t have a clue (not we are dumb at geography but Africa and Caribbean are just physically and “mentally” too far from Vietnam).

However, the modern trend of globalization is creating changes in the fastest manner! In Hanoi now we even have an African reggae band! How marvelous is that! Also we have to acknowledge a lot of efforts from the cultural institutes, especially the French speaking community such as L’Espace or the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation, for bringing many African acts to Hanoi, so that Vietnamese people can start to get used to a “new” taste of music. Read the rest of this entry »

A song about Hanoi

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Hanoi with its classic beauty has always been the endless inspiration for many song writers and composers. No other place in Vietnam has ever been mentioned in such large amount of Vietnamese songs. And not only Hanoi born composers wrote about Hanoi but Southern composers also expressed their love to Hanoi with numberless lovable melodies. One song by An-Giang born writer Hoàng Hiệp had become so popular to Hanoians that many of us got the habit to call it “Hanoi’s song” for a very long period of time..

The song was chosen to be the official rhythm of Hanoi TV Channel everyday in many years and was loved by so many Hanoians. Although we don’t listen to it often nowadays any more we always feel deeply touched whenever the melody’s played and then find ourselves mumble along the rhythm “Wherever we go, Hanoi always stays in our heart..” And below comes the beautiful melody of “Nhớ về Hà Nội” (Memory about Hanoi) by singer Hồng Nhung.

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