Northern village home to master brass instrument craftsmen

Thanh Nien News/VnExpress

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Building, repairing, and even playing brass instruments like trumpets and clarinets is a long tradition for the residents of Pham Phao village in the northern province of Nam Dinh’s Hai Hau District.
Photos credit: VnExpress
Also a Catholic parish, Pham Phao village has its own orchestra that consists of as many as 500 musicians. While the orchestra performs during big religious holidays, the huge sound can also be heard at much smaller events like baptisms.
Many local families can make, repair, and play brass instruments.
Even children can play basic songs.
All members of Pham Thi Tin’s family participate in the job of making and repairing brass instruments. “My husband and children love the job. Boys are taught to repair instruments when they are young, while girls help with trivial things,” she said.
Tin’s husband, Nguyen Duy Dong, is a famous brass instrument maker.
Tin works on the bell of a trumpet.
Tin’s sons repair instruments for customers.
At 17, Hien, one of Tin’s boys, has mastered the basics of the trade.
Duan, their eldest son, mends a hole in a trombone. “I’m the third generation of my family to do the job; I started training when I was in the ninth grade,” Duan said.
Lathes are employed to hone fine details.
In order to do their job well, the craftsmen have to know how to play the instruments.
Dong repairs a 70-year-old trombone.
Instruments that are waiting for final touches at the family’s workshop.
Dong’s family owns many kinds of brass instruments from different countries.

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