Friday, 4 February 2011

Come and Play Korean Samulnori (Drums & Percussion) #3

Date: Saturday, February 12th, 3.00pm-4.30pm (for everyone interested) / 4.30pm-6.00pm (for those have some experience)
Venue: Goldmine Studios, 269 Poyser Street, London E2 9RF
Fee: £9 (all instrumens provided)
Contact: Jeung Hyun Choi (07981 298 638 /

Samul nori is a genre of traditional percussion music originating in Korea. The word samul means "four objects" and nori means "play"; samul nori is performed with four traditional Korean musical instruments:

* Kkwaenggwari (a small gong)
* Jing (a larger gong)
* Janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum)
* Buk (a barrel drum similar to the bass drum)

The traditional Korean instruments are called pungmul.

Samul nori has its roots in nong-ak (literally "farmers' music"), a Korean folk genre comprising music, acrobatics, folk dance, and rituals, which was traditionally performed in rice farming villages in order to ensure and to celebrate good harvests. Specifically, samul nori music derives from utdari pungmul (the gut, or shaman ceremony rhythm of the Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong provinces of South Korea), as well as the genres of Yeongnam folk music and Honam udo gut, combined with more contemporary improvisations, elaborations, and compositions. Such nong-ak is steeped in traditional animism and shamanism, but also shows influences from Korean Buddhism. While nong-ak often features the use of wind instruments, samul nori only features the aforementioned four percussion instruments.

Each of the four instruments represents a different weather condition: the janggu represents rain, the kkwaenggwari thunder, the jing the sounds of the wind, and the buk clouds. The idea of yin and yang is also reflected in these instruments: the buk and janggu (leather) represent the sounds of the earth, while the jing and kkwaenggwari (metal) represent sounds of the heavens. Although generally performed indoors, as a staged genre, samul nori depicts the traditional Korean culture, an agricultural society rooted in the natural environment.
Samul nori is characterized by strong, accented rhythms, vibrant body movements, and an energetic spirit.

Samul nori has gained international popularity, with many samul nori bands and camps worldwide. Since the 1980s in South Korea, there has been a marked increase in the amount of fusion music, combining samul nori and Western instruments.

Jeung-Hyun Choi is a Korean traditional percussion player and currently working as managing director of DULSORI, the Korean traditional music group. She has taught Korean traditional percussions and songs for over 20 years. Shae has led many international workshops in Korea and abroad, including SOAS World Music Summer School 2008.

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