Jeongak (Court Music)
“Cheonnyeonmanse (A Thousand Years, Ten-thousand Years Old)”
Welcome to the fourth episode of <Gugak Wednesdays: Online Korean Music Concerts>!
As we enter the final week of May, we look back on all of the meaningful days that Koreans celebrate during this month. In Korea, May seems to be an especially important month as there are many holidays and anniversaries such as Labor Day (May 1st), Children’s Day (May 5th), Parents’ Day (May 8th), Adoption Day (May 11th), Teacher’s Day (May 15th), Coming-of-Age Day (the third Monday of May), Married Couple’s Day (May 21st), and more.
For this concert, we present “Cheonnyeonmanse” to commemorate the May as the “Month of Family,” with a wish for our loved ones’ health and happiness before May passes by.
“Cheonnyeonmanse” is a piece that embodies the hope for living a healthy life of a thousand, even ten thousand years. Compared to other court or pungnyu music (an aristocratic music genre), “Cheonnyeonmanse” reflects a more light and cheerful mood.
The piece is a chamber music suite consisting of three different parts including “Gyemyeongarak dodeuri,” “Yangcheong dodeuri,” and “Ujogarak dodeuri.” These three pieces are often performed together as a suite, but also can be presented as individual pieces.
The “Yangcheong dodeuri” is said to be the fastest piece among all pungnyu music repertoires. While listening to “Cheonnyeonmanse,” it would be interesting to try to find out when the “Yangcheong dodeuri” starts, and to compare how it is different from the rhythms and tempos of other K-pop or pop music that we listen to these days.
Yanggeum (Trapezoid-shaped zither)
Yanggeum, a trapezoid-shaped zither, is played by hammering straight metal strings with a single thin bamboo stick held in one hand. Each set of strings consists of four strings and there is a total of fourteen sets, 56 strings in all. The strings run over two long bridges. This “zither from the west” was imported from China and introduced to Korea in the 18th century.
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*This content was produced based on the original performance video of the National Gugak Center and a description of the work.
Performance by the National Gugak Center Court Music Orchestra
Gayageum (plucked zither) performed by Ko Yeon-jeong
Danso (short vertical flute) performed by Lee Seung-yeop
Yanggeum (dulcimer) performed by Jo Yu-hoe
Geomungo (fretted zither) performed by Lee Bang-sil
Haegeum (two-string fiddle) performed by Ko Su-young
Daegeum (long transverse flute) performed by Kim Young-heon
Piri (double-reed oboe) performed by Hong Hyeon-wu
Janggu (hourglass-shaped drum) performed by Hong Seok-bok
Venue: Secret Garden, Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul, Korea
Source: National Gugak Center