I set out a few basic criteria in the making of this compilation. One is no more than two songs from the same composer. One is to seek a wide variety on style and content. A third is to limit selections to the period of the Second Indochina War. There were many songs written during or shortly after the French War, and I hope to address the connection between the two periods at some point. But ten isn’t a large number by any means, and leaving out music from the First Indochina War hopefully helps to tighten the coherence of the list.
Another criterion is that the selections come from musicians associated in a significant way to the Republican Saigon, thus leaving out music from North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front (NLF). Communist music is worthy of studies for its propaganda value, yes, but possibly more. But it is not included on this list because it diverges too far from music of the Republican South.