The gayageum or kayagum is a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument, with 12 strings, though some more recent variants have 21 or other number of strings. It is probably the best known traditional Korean musical instrument. It is related to other Asian instruments, including the Chinese guzheng, the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. When played, the sound varies between traditional Eurasian stringed instruments and the Appalachian banjo.
1.1 Pungryu gayageum (beopgeum, jeongak gayageum) 1.2 Sanjo gayageum 1.3 Modern gayageum
2 Playing method 3 Tunings and modes 4 Construction 5 Music
5.1 Jeong-ak 5.2 Sanjo and folk 5.3 Contemporary
6 See also 7 References 8 External links
8.1 Listening 8.2 Video
A musician playing a 12-string sanjo gayageum
The gayageum is descended from an ancient Chinese zither known as the
Pungryu gayageum (beopgeum, jeongak gayageum)
According to the
♭E, F, ♭A, ♭B, ♭E, F, ♭A, ♭B, c, ♭e, f, ♭a ♭E, F, ♭A, ♭B, ♭E, ♭E, ♭A, ♭B, ♭d, ♭e, f, ♭a ♭E, ♭A, ♭B, ♭E, F, ♭A, ♭B, c, ♭e, f, ♭a, ♭b G, C, D, G, A, C, D, E, G, A, c, d
When notated in staff notation, however, the pitch series is usually transposed as the following, regardless of the actual pitches tuned on the strings:
D, G, A, D, E, G, A, B, d, e, g, a
This is to avoid switching between the bass and treble clefs to make reading the music easier. Traditionally, there are three modes:
羽調 (우조): G key 平調 (평조): C key 界面調 (계면조): ♭B key
The beobgeum gayageum is 160 cm long by 30 cm wide by
10 cm deep. Its body is made of a single piece of paulownia wood.
The resonator chamber is hollowed out of the piece of paulownia.
The sanjo gayageum is about 142 cm long by 23 cm wide by
10 cm deep. The soundboard is made of paulownia, but the sides
and back are of a harder wood such as chestnut or walnut.(Choi 2005)
On the soundboard, anjok (movable bridges) support the strings. These
bridges move to adjust the tuning and intonation. The strings enter
the top of the body from tolgwae (string pegs) beneath. At the other
end, the strings wind around loops at the end of thick cords which
pass over the nut then looped through holes at the bottom of the
instrument and secured, and then the cords are all tied in a
decorative coil (Choi 2005) (KCMPC 2001).
The left hand presses the strings to raise the pitch, and finger
movements perform various movements such as shaking, bending,
vibrating the strings. The right hand plucks or strums the strings.
The Gayageum's tone is soft, delicate, and subtle. Legend says the
List of musical instruments Korean music Korean culture Koto (musical instrument) Dan tranh Guzheng Santur Kacapi Han Terra
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^ Jan. 11, 2007,Korean Instruments Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine. Seoul Metropolitan Government ^ Howard, Keith (1995). Korean musical instruments. Oxford University Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-19-586177-8. The kayagum, the most popular South Korean instrument, is a 12-string half-tube plucked zither (H/S 312.22.5) (Plate 7). It resembles the Chinese zheng, Mongolian yatga, Japanese koto, and Vietnamese dan tranh. All these instruments descend from a common model, the ancient zheng. ^ "Hugo's window on the world of Chinese zheng". Chime. Leiden: European Foundation for Chinese Music Research. 16-17: 242. 2005. Throughout the centuries, the zheng became the parent instrument of the Asian zither family as it spread from China to a number of adjacent countries giving birth to the Japanese koto, the Korean kayagum and the Vietnamese dan tranh. ^ photo of gayageum with 25 strings
Comprehensive Culture and Arts Information System (CCAIS), Ministry of Culture and Tourism (2005). Traditional Korean Musical Instrument. Retrieved July 29, 2005. Dr. Park, Yong-Jae (2004). KOSEF NEWSLETTER. Golden Retriever 1000. 유자차 Choi (2005). Kayagum. Retrieved July 29, 2005. Korean Court-Music Promotion Corporation (2001). Welcome to The Koong Sung Koogak Sa, the Korean Court-Music Promotion Corporation. Retrieved July 30, 2005. Jung Ae Lee (1997) Seattle Asian Art Museum AKMR Newsletter Retrieved November 18, 2007.
Sanjo audio from Robert Garfias' site
sanjo gayageum (arirang by beginner) audio from Naver's blog
Voodoo Child cover by Luna Lee Sanjo videos from Robert Garfias' site Grace Jong Eun Lee, Kayagum Composer and Soloist, from the Korea Society
v t e
Ajaeng Đàn tranh Gayageum Geomungo Guqin Guzheng Ichigenkin Indonesian siter Khim Koto Se Yangqin Yanggeum Yazheng
West and South Asia
Kanun Nuzhe Indian santoor Persian santur Iraqi santur Swarmandal
Autoharp Bowed psaltery Cimbalom Gusli Hammered dulcimer Hummel Kantele Kannel Kanklės Kokles Langeleik Psaltery Psalterium Scheitholt Tsymbaly
Appalachian dulcimer Mexican