Korean traditional percussion music – Samulnori

If you have attended a Korean program offered by one of the language institutes in South Korea, during the cultural experience classes, you might have got the chance of learning samulnori (사물놀이) , the Korean traditional percussion music.  The well-known Korean show, NANTA, has also incorporated samulnori in its performance.  Let’s talk about samulnori in this blog post. Continue reading

Which song is regarded as the unofficial national anthem of Korea?

Q: Which song is regarded as the unofficial national anthem of Korea?

A: Arirang (아리랑).

Significance of Arirang to Koreans

Arirang is a very popular traditional folk song among Koreans – virtually all Koreans, whether in South Korea, North Korea or abroad, can sing at least part of this song.  As a result, it has the power to unite all Koreans.  Throughout history, Koreans has sung it in both times of happiness and sorrow and this song is deeply rooted in the emotions of Koreans.   Continue reading

What do Korean Pansori and Homer’s Odyssey have in common?

Question: What do Korean Pansori and Homer’s Odyssey have in common?

Answer: Both of them originated as a form of storytelling oral literature.

Pansori (판소리) is a type of Korean storytelling traditional music performed by a singer and a drummer.  As Pansori began as a form of oral tradition, it is difficult to trace its origin.  However, it is believed that Pansori originated from narrative shaman songs in south-western Korea in the 17th century.  Continue reading