Joengak : Sujaechun - Asian Studies at Kennesaw State University

Traditional Music Genre
Folk Music
Gayaguem Music &
Its Structure
正樂 (正: right 樂:music= righteous music)
Central to court ritual and ceremonial music and aristocratic
music in Joseon Dynasty (1392 ~ 1910)
Slow tempo / emotionally restrained
“ Generally speaking, a slow melody is leisurely, like a flock of
clouds floating in the sky.”
Joengak : Sujaechun
Su壽: life jae齊 :same chun天: heaven
Everlasting Life
In Royal Procession Ceremonies and Court Music Performances
Joengak : Sujaechun
Folk Music : Sanjo
Nongak : traditional farmers' music
Greater Range of Tempo & More Expressive Melodies in Emotions
Intensive vibrato ( Nonghyun ) & sigimsae
Compare to Jeongak
Gayaguem Sanjo performance :
Meaning Scattered Melodies
Various Rhythm Cycle
Folk Music : Pansori
Epic-Length Stories
Musical Drama
Buk :
“Sori” = Song
“Aniri” = Narration
“Ballim” = Mimetic gestures
“Gosu (鼓手) ” = Drummer
“Chuimsae” : ‘eolssu’, ‘eu-iee’, ‘eolssigu’…
Folk Music : Pansori
Freedom to Improvise
Vocalist Governed by a Modal System
Drummer with a Fixed Cyclic Pattern
Sanjo vs. Pansori
Length of Pansori
Gayaguem : Its Origin
Zither from Gaya
“Samguksagi” (Historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, A.D. 1145)
The King Gasil of Gaya Kingdom (A.D. 42 – 532)
Ureuk & The King Jinheung of Silla
Gayaguem : Structure with its Symbolic Value
Twelve strings = Twelve months
Round surface of the front board = Heaven
Flat bottom = Earth
Sun & Moon = Yin & Yang(balance of universal forces)
Jwadan, 喜 = Joy and Happiness / The Sun & The moon
Gayaguem : Structure with its Symbolic Value
Twelve bridges, anjok (안족/雁足/wild geese feet)
Phoenix= good luck :
Gayaguem : Types and Musical Characteristics
Twelve to twenty-five strings Jeongak
Ancient gayageum: Beopgeum (law-zither), Pungnyu (elegance), or Jeongak (right music) Gayageum
Jeongak Gayageum:
Assoicated with accompaniment for court/chamber music and lyric songs
Wider spacing between strings
Slow music : Yeongsan-hoesang
Music of Jeongak Gayaguem : Yeongsan-hoesang & others
靈山會上佛菩薩 : Buddha’s sermon
Nine Pieces : Slowest in the 1st movement to fastest in the 9th movement
Ensemble accompaniment for lyric song
Music of Sanjo Gayaguem
19th century with the emergence of Sanjo music (fast tempos and improvisational)
Closer string spacing & Shorter length
Traditionally Silk string & Occasionally Synthetic string since the late 20th century
Music for sanjo gayageum: Sanjo
Folk Song : “Arirang”
“Sinawhi” : Ensemble form of Sanjo / Jazz
Music of Sanjo Gayaguem : Contemporary Music (Chimhyangmoo)
Composed by Byunggi Hwang
沈 香 a valuable Indian incense 舞 a tree
Spreading through a Tree
Imagination of Western Culture through the Silk Road to Silla
Modified Gayaguem
Silk String vs. Polyester String
Soft & Delicate Tone Color vs. Louder & More Brilliant Sound
Modern music
Various number of strings :
 18 Strings : tuned to a Pentatonic Scale & Made of Polyester Synthetic String
 25 Strings : tuned heptatonically

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