Listen to Co Tu's heart melodies

By HOANG LY - DIEU HIEN |

(QNO) - In the treasure of  the musical instruments of the Co Tu’s ethnic group (living in the western mountainous region of Quang Nam province), there are many kinds of flutes such as Corotooc, Ahel, Torel, Aluot, etc… Each flute has its own characteristics, but most of them are used to express one’s inner sentiment.

With couples, Aluot bamboo flute is the best of musical instruments to express their heartfelt love.
With couples, Aluot bamboo flute is the best of musical instruments to express their heartfelt love.

Alout’s melodious sound

An Aluot flute is made from old bamboo. The makers have to fall down dozens of bamboo trees  for choosing one or two chunks only to make the flute. It’s an explaination why the Co Tu’s Aluot flute is very famous.

On the flute’s body has 10 holes, one of which is the main hole. The players blow at a top of the flute. The Aluot flute brings melodious sounds to the listeners. The flute helps a Co Tu’s young man to share his love to the girls he is falling in love. “Many Co Tu boys and girls have to fall in love by the beautiful melodies of  the Aluot flute. Many young girls came to the boys’ houses to make friend with, flirtatiously tease or  express their love…,” said old Y Kong. For the couples, the melodious sounds from the Aluot flute are the bridge to make clear their heartfelt love…

The Co Tu women  have their own flutes such as  six-hole Alout, Trer, Areng, Bham…But they are used only  in the tradtional festivals to make Co Tu musical melodies richer.

Aluot flute is not only a nice mean to share sentiment of  Co Tu young men, but also a friend of the elders. In the afternoon, when the last sunrays going down behind the mountains, it’s the time for musical performance of the Co Tu elders. They play Aluot flute to remember their life in the past time. The Aluot’s melodious sounds go up and down with their happy – sad mood. The Aluot flute is a closed friend of the lonely elders and make them happier.

“At present, the number of Co Tu people who can play Aluot flute is fewer and fewer. Many young people are not be able to look for their sweetheart through the Aluot’s melodies. If there are not policies to restore this musical instrument, the precious traditional culture of the Co Tu’s ethnic group may be died out,” old Y Kong said when leaving us.

Musical instruments of emotion

The Corotooc is another special flute of the Co Tu people. It’s hard to play this instrument because it has not any hole. Its sound likes the twittering voice of birds or the babbling voice of stream. Corotooc is used for trapping birds, performing in the important festivals and worshiping ceremonies. With other musical instrument, it make a typical music of the mountainous regions of Quang Nam province.

The Ahel flute is also made from bamboo with four rectangle holes on  the body and a reed is put at the top of the flute. The Torel flute has three round holes on the body, the top is covered with a piece of animal leather. They are two necessary musical instruments for community festivals of the Co Tu people. In these events, the young men also play Ahel and Torel flutes to express their love to their sweethearts. In the Co Tu young girls’ heart, a talented young man is not only a hard-working one, but also a good flute player…

By HOANG LY - DIEU HIEN