Pham Phao Village is known as a peaceful Catholic site in Hai Minh commune, Nam Dinh province. The village name combines the surname of a majority of the villagers- “Pham” and the village’s shape like a cannon or “phao”. It comes as a surprise that the agricultural village is famous for making brass instruments. Therefore, do not miss the village and distinctive stories about brass trumpet during Nam Dinh holiday.
How were Brass Instruments Developed in Pham Phao Village?
In the early 16th century, Catholicism was transmitted to the village. When Phao Phao Cathedral was constructed in 1908, a brass orchestra was also founded to perform at church services and village events. At first, all the orchestra’s brass instruments were imported from Western. However, it is so expensive and took a long time to send them abroad to be fixed if they broke. There is a need to have their brass instruments repaired. As a result, the villagers learned how to repair their instruments on their own. Nowadays, they are so skillful at repairing, making brass instruments and playing them as well. From that, making brass instruments becomes a job in an agricultural village. Villagers are farmers during the harvest time but artisans when returning to their workshops.
What Makes Nam Dinh Brass Instruments of Pham Phao Village Unique?
What makes Pham Phao Brass Trumpets unique is that most stages are carried out manually without using modern equipment. For most types of trumpets, Pham Phao craftsmen only need a copper rolling machine and a welding machine to make one which used to be imported from the West. For large brass trumpets, they have to use lathes and hydraulic bending machines to put them in shape.
In addition, the making process requires workers to have skillful hands, knowledge of music and most importantly ears obtaining a sophisticated sound level to capture the variations of the sound. Especially, the price of the brass Trumpet in Pham Phao Village is quite reasonable, only from 1/3 to 1/4 compared to that of the trumpets imported from European countries. Brass trumpet still ensures to meet the high demand of the instrument. 1500 Pham Phao villagers understand music theory and 1000 of them are able to play brass instruments. If you are a music lover, it is highly recommended to pay a visit to Pham Phao village.