Prof. Dr. Tran Van Khe
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Professor Tran Van Khe is one of the greatest masters of the traditional Vietnamese music. Born into a family with four generations of musicians, he was taught the musical tradition of the family by his paternal aunt Tran Ngoc Vien and his maternal uncle Nguyen Tri Khuong, having lost his parents at a very early age. Professor Tran Van Khe is a Doctor in Musicology; he carried out research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.), has been a teacher at Paris-Sorbonne University, and is Honorary Member of the Conseil international de la musique (Unesco). His scientific research along with his activity in traditional music (participation in numerous festivals, several recordings edited with Ocora, l'Unesco and A.C.C.T.) have led to his receiving many distinctions and prizes from prestigious universities, academies and international institutions. He is able to play many Vietnamese instruments: dan kim or dan nguyet (moon-shaped lute), dan tranh (sixteen stringed zither), dan co or dan nhi (two-stringed fiddle), dan ty ba (pear-shaped, four stringed lute) and the trong nhac, ceremonial drum. He knows how to recite poems and sing in traditional styles of the North and the South.

Professor Tran's expertise includes all Asian music, particularly Indian, Persian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic musical traditions. Having lived in Paris for about 50 years, and traveled world wide, lecturing and performing, he has played key role in introducing Asian music into the western world. In the past 50 years, He has produced a number of Ph. D.'s and tought several thousands of students all over the world.

    • Ex-Director of research in the French National Center for Scientific Research
    • Now, Full Member of the Research Team UPR 298 " Comparative Studies on South East Asia "
    • Ex-Professor of Ethnomusicology , University of Paris Sorbonne
    • Now, Adviser for 5 doctoral dissertations on Asian and Arabic Music
    • Member of the "Board of Directors" of the Unesco-IMC Project: The "Universe of Music, A History" ( UMH)
    • Vice-Chairman of the Scientific Board of the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation (Berlin)
  • DATE OF BIRTH: Juty 24th 1921
  • PLACE OF-BIRTH: Binh Hoa Dong, Mutho( Tien Giang) ( Viet Nam)
  • NATIONALITY: Vietnamese, Permanent Resident in France since Magi 949
    • 1958: Ph. D. University of Paris-Sorbonne Dissertation: Vietnamese Traditional Music
    • 1951: Diplome de I'lnstitut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris ( Sciencs-Po: International Relations)
    • 1943: First Certificate of Medici ne( Medical College: Universitg of Hanoi)
    • 1942: Certificate of P.C.B. ( Phgsics- Chemistry-Biologg) Universitg of Hanoi
    • 1941: Baccalaureat ( Philisophy) Saigon
    • 1940: Baccalaureat (First Part) Saigon
  • Music Education: Belongs to a family of musicians: 4th generation, training in traditional musical instruments and drumming since his childhood.
    Musicologg: Institut de Musicologle de Paris ( 1951-1958)

    Working EXPERIENCE

    Research and teaching

    • 1989: (January-March) Visiting Professor, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Manila
    • 1988: (January-Septemter) Fulbright Scholar, Visiting Professor University of Hawaii at Manoa
    • 1984-1987: Director of a Seminar on "Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales ( EHESS)
    • 1983: Visiting Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa: Summer Course USA
    • 1985: Visiting Professor at the Universitg of Western Australia, Perth
    • 1981 and 1979: Visiting Professor at Listz Academy of Music, Budapest Hungary.
    • 1975-1985: Guest Professor at the Institut Cathotique de Paris Liturgic Music: Buddhist Music in Vietnam
    • 1979-1977: Guest Professor at the "Intercultural School - in Venice,ltaly
    • 1973: Visiting Professor at The Faculte de Musique, University of Montreal, Canada
    • 1972: Guest Professorat the University of Southern Illinois Carbonda1e, USA
    • 1968: Guest Professor at the UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
    • 1966-1988: Lecturer , Professor , University of Paris-Sorbonne
      Ethnomusicology, Adviser for Students preparing Master's thesis and Doctoral dissertations on Asian Music (more than 40 students)
    • 1960-1988: Researcher in Musicology, French National Center for Scientific Research
    • 1960-64: Attache de recherche
    • 1964-68: Charge de recherche
    • 1968-72: MaTtre de recherche
    • 1972-88: Directear dc recherche
    • 1959-1988: Professor, Directeur d'Etudes, and President of the "Centre d'Etudes de Musique Orientale"
    • 1977-1987: Every year Visiting Professor at The Institute of Musicology in Viet Nam
    • Two Lectures on Asian Music and on Methodology in Ethnormusicology, Several hundreds of lectures in several Universities in the world, namely Berkeley, Maryland, Baltimore County USA, (1988) Central Conservatory of Beijing, Conservatory of TianJian, Xian (People's Republic of China 1987), Antatanarivo,Madagascar(August 1985), Kunitachi College, Japan (Julyl 985), Wellington, New Zealand/November 1984), Venice, Italy (March 84-April 85) Harvard, USA (June 1982)Conservatory Tchaikovsky, Moscow, USSR/May 81) National Institute of Music of Algeria (August 1980), National Center for the Performing Arts, Bombay, India (Sept. 1979), Teheran, Iran (June 1976) Conservatory ofSaigon, Buddhist University of Van Hanh, Catholic Institution Taberd, Centre Culturel FranCais, VietNam-USA Association, (South VietNam August 1974), Sau Paulo, Brasil (July 1974) Shiraz.lran (August 1972) Sangeet Natak Akademi, Nev Delhi India (May 1961 ),Traditional Musicians Association, TaiPei,(April 1961) Ueno University, Japan (April 1961)

    Personal Affiliations
    • Member of Societe FranCaise de Musicologie
    • International Musicologlcal Society
    • Societe FranCaise d'Ethnomusicologie
    • Society for Ethnomusicologg
    • Society for Asian Music
    • International Society for Music Education
    • Societe (tes Gens de Lettres ( France)
    • International Council for Traditional Music ( Ex-Vice President)
    • International Music Council ( Ex-Vice President, now Life Honorary Member)

    Distinctions- Schalarships
    • 1999 Huan chuang Lao dong (Hang Hhot) Medol of Lobour (First Class) Socialist Republic of Uiet Nom
    • 1999 Doctor (HC) in Ethnomusicology, Universite de Moncton ( New Brunswick)
    • 1994 Koizumi Fumio Ethnomusicological Prize ( Japan)
    • 1995 Correspandent Member of The European Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters
    • 1991 Officier de rOrdre dea Rrl) et des Leilres ( French Mintetru rm- Cuittre and CoflmnanjcBtiDn)
    • 1988. Ful bright Scholarship
    • 1985 .Japan Foundation Scholarship
    • 1981 UNESCO INC Music Avard
    • 1975 Doctor in Music (honoris causa) University ef Ottawa Canada
    • 1974 1st Class Medal of Letters and Arts ( Refublic of Viet Ham)
    • 1974 1st Class Medal of Cukiture ( Republic of Viet Nam)
    • 1970 Grand Prix National du disque Academie du disque francais, Prix d'Ethnomusicologie, for the Record VI ET NAM 1. BM LD 2022
    • 1969 Deutscher Schallplatten Preis for the same disc mentioned above
    • 1960 Grand Prix du disque Academic du disque francais, Prix des Universites de France Disc "Musique du Viet Nam" Disc" La BoTte a Musique NOLD 565
    • 1949 2nd Prise of the International Competitition on Folk Music Instruments; in the Youth Festical of Budapest in Hungary.

    • 16 discs
    • 1 film on Indian Dhrupad singing tradition, 4 tapes on Asian Music( (GRM Groups de Recherche Musicale French Radio)
    • 4 video tapes on the Chinese Sheng (mouth organ), Qin (Chinese 7 stringed board zither), Vietnamese Dan trah (16 stringed board zither) Audio Visual Center Universite Dauphine
    • 2 books on Vietnamese Traditional Music
    • 1 book on Water puppets in Viet Nam
    • 187 articles on Asian Music, Vietnamese Music, and musicological matters.

    InternotiDnol Conferences

    Has participated in more than 180 Internatinal Congresses, Conferences, Symposia, and Music Festivals. (The lists of publications and the International Conferences could be sent on request)

[More detailed information about Prof. Tran Van Khe is found in the French page]


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