Koreans have the unique characteristic of lyrical sensibility, using music to express their emotions. Traditional Korean music can be divided into music listened by the royal family and by the commoners, each differing greatly in style. Jongmyo Jeryeak, royal ancestral ritual music, the representative royal court music and played during ancestral rites, was solumn and splendid. In contrast, the commoners and farmers who worked in the rice paddy or fields usually sung folk songs and pansori, a traditional Korean music that narrates a themed story. With a distinct, inimitable sound, rhythm, and singing technique, pansori was designated as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.
Photo: Nongak (left), Gugak B-boy (right)
Traditional Korean music has been greatly influenced by the strong presence of Korean pop music. Recently, there is a growing trend of fusion art troupes where traditional Korean music is combined with contemporary music. Performances such as 'Nanta' and Gugak B-boy, were created through the mix of traditional Korean rhythms and rock music. Such fusion music has since been receiving attention both locally and abroad, highlighting Korea's important cultural code to the world.
* This column was last updated in November 2015, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on November 4, 2015>