Nhã nhạc is a form of Vietnamese court music. Vietnamese court music is very diverse, but the term nhã nhạc refers specifically to the Vietnamese court music performed from the Trần dynasty of the 13th century to the Nguyễn dynasty, which ended in the early 20th century.
Vietnamese court music was performed at annual ceremonies, including anniversaries and religious holidays, as well as special events such as coronations, funerals or official receptions. The music was performed by highly trained and skilled court musicians. Along with the musicians, a number of intricate court dances also existed. Both musicians and dancers wore elaborately designed costumes during their performances.
Nhã nhạc is still performed in the old capital of Huế. ‘Nhã nhạc of Huế court’ (Nhã nhạc cung đình Huế) was recognised in 2005 by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Extensive efforts have been underway to preserve this truly unique and highly developed art. If you are studying Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City, pay a visit to Hue, it is where the music was born