Reacting to a leading musician's statement that "traditional music is dead,"
another departee stated that although that is likely true, he does not want to
concede. He argues that there is a movement to "resurrect" traditional music, though he admits that there is "a tremendous job ahead."
5 The changes social and historical context in resettlement and the intrusion of
political elements into the concept of traditional music has thus made
Vietnamese more circumspect about this segment of their cultural heritage,
even as they feel committed to its preservation. The general ambivalence is
over what the physical manifestations of traditional music represent:
10 Vietnamese culture or Vietnamese government propaganda?
The bifurcation of what traditional music stands for thus follows from its
definition in political as well as historical terms, and in idealogical as well as pragmatic terms. It is not a coincidence that the point at which the oppositions were created is the same point at which forced migration began, the point at
15 which the political and cultural function of traditional music came into dispute,
and the point at which these differences began to be manifested in different repertoires for what each faction called traditional music.