The ?àn nguy?t (Vietnamese pronunciation: [n ?wit] "moon lute") also called nguy?t c?m, ?àn kìm, is a two-stringed Vietnamese traditional musical instrument. It is used in both folk and classical music, and remains popular throughout Vietnam (although during the 20th century many Vietnamese musicians increasingly gravitated toward the acoustic and electric guitar).
The ?àn nguy?t's strings, formerly made of twisted silk, are today generally made of nylon or fishing line. They are kept at a fairly low tension in comparison to the guitar and other European plucked instruments. This, and the instrument's raised frets, allow for the bending tones which are so important to the proper interpretation of Vietnamese traditional music. Such bending tones are produced by pressing the string toward the neck rather than bending to the side. The strings are generally plucked with a small plectrum; often a plastic guitar pick is used.
The instrument's standard Vietnamese name, ?àn nguy?t, literally means "moon string instrument" (?àn is the generic term for "string instrument" and nguy?t means "moon"). Its alternate name, nguy?t c?m, also means "moon string instrument" (c?m meaning "string instrument" in Sino-Vietnamese, coming from the Chinese word qín, ?).