Korea Tour, Korean Music, Arts, Crafts

Korea Tour

- Rest your mind and rejuvenate your soul in the land of the morning calm
- A country renowned for its rich cultural and aesthetic beauty.
- Begin a fantastic journey into the cultural traditions of the past - today!

Korean Traditional Music Station

- Quoted as “the sound that baptizes your soul”
- Unique tempo distribution
- Warm and soft tone color
- Calm and meditative character
- Listen samples

Online Gallery of Korean Arts and Crafts

- High quality pictures and detailed descriptions
- Art essays with in-depth information
- Unique handcrafted gifts

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yeo-Chang Gagok by Yi Jun-Ah

Listen to Samples

This album leads to the wonderful world of Gagok, a traditional Korean vocal music. Gagok is a representative vocal genre appreciated by the scholars of the Joseon period (1392-1910). It uses Sijo, traditional Korean poetry with fixed forms, for its texts. Accompaniments and interludes are played by a small ensemble of traditional Korean musical instruments. Performed since around 16th century, Gagok has been passed on until today, undergoing many changes and generating variations.

Gagok has two kinds of modes, the Gyemyeon mode (Gyemyeonjo) and the U mode (Ujo). The former and latter are each compared to the major and minor scale respectively. In addition to the two modes, Ban-U-Ban-Gye, which begins in the U mode but modulates to the Gyemyeon mode, is used. Also, there are 26 pieces for men and 15 for women.

The texts of the male songs (Nam-Chang) are generally masculine and animated. Also, unlike the female songs, male songs are sung only in natural voice and not in falsetto. The texts of the female songs (Yeo-Chang) are usually feminine and sad. Unlike male songs, the female songs use both natural voice and falsetto.