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38 Beautiful Illustrations Of Hanoi Street Vendors And Their Melodic Cries

These days, the melodic cries of Hanoi’s street vendors are drowned out by the city’s constant buzz of activity. But 85 years ago, these songs, which announced a seller’s goods or services, made up the bulk of the capital’s soundtrack.

Fascinated by their harmonies and rhythms, in 1929, F. Fénis, a French author, studied and published a 40-page book where he not only described the various vendors, using text and images, but also by transcribing their melodies via notation. The book, Les marchands ambulants et les cris de la rue à Hanoi, was illustrated by students of the Indochina Art College.

These days, this art has given way to recordings played over loudspeakers on vendor’s carts. But many of the older generation still do things the old fashioned way.

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