The janggu (or janggo; also spelled changgo) or sometimes called
seyogo (slim waist drum) is the most representative drum in
traditional Korean music.. It is available in most kinds, and
consists of an hourglass-shaped body with two heads made from animal
skin. The two heads produce sounds of different pitch and timbre,
which when played together are believed to represent the harmony of
man and woman.
4 See also
6 External links
The first depiction of the instrument is on a bell belonging to the
Silla (57 BC–935 AD) period and in a mural painting of the same
Goguryeo (37 BC–935 AD) tomb. The oldest Korean
historical records about an hourglass-shaped drum may be traced to the
reign of King Munjong (1047–1084) of
Goryeo as a field instrument.
Goryeo-sa (1451), or History of Goryeo, in chapter 70, records
twenty janggu as part of a gift of instruments to be used in royal
banquet music from the
Song Dynasty Emperor Huizong to the Goryeo
Court in Gaeseong in 1114. This book represents the earliest
appearance of the word janggu in a Korean source. Later in chapter 80,
for the year 1076, the term janggu-opsa (one who plays or teaches the
janggu) is used.
The janggu may have evolved from the yogo (Hangul: 요고;
Hanja: 腰鼓; literally "waist drum"), another similar but
smaller Korean drum that is still in use today. The yogo is thought to
have originated from the idakka, an Indian instrument introduced into
India through China during the
Silla (57 BC–935 AD)
period. Evidence of the yogo was depicted on the mural paintings in
the tomb of Jipanhyun of Goguryeo, and from the pictures at the Gameun
Temple, the Relics of Buddha, made of bronze in the second year of
King Mun (682) during the Unified
Silla period. It was during the time
Goryeo that the size of the
Janggu grew to its present-day
It is made from a hollow, hourglass-shaped wooden body of either
porcelain, tile, metal, wood, gourd, or tinned sheet. Popular choices
are poplar and paulownia woods. However, paulownia is most popular
because it is the lightest and the best resonating material, producing
Jorongmok is the round tube in the middle connecting the left and
right side of the hourglass-shaped body. The size of the jorongmok
determines the quality of the tone: the wider the tube, the deeper and
huskier it sounds; the narrower the tube, the harder and snappier it
The two skin heads are lapped onto metal hoops placed over the open
ends of the body and secured by rope counter-loops. The left head
(book side) is covered with a thick cowhide, horsehide, or deerskin to
produce deep and low tones. The right side (chae side) is covered with
either dog skin or a lighter horsehide to produces higher tones.
There are two kinds of beating sticks (chae), namely gungchae and
yeolchae. The gungchae is shaped like a mallet with a round head. The
handle is made from bamboo root, boiled and straightened out and the
head is made from hardwood such as birch or antler. Modern gungchae
may also be made from plastic; this variety is normally used by
beginning musicians. The yeolchae is always made from bamboo.
A performer playing janggu
Traditionally the janggu is played using yeolchae on the right hand
high pitch area and uses the bare hand on the low pitch area. Such an
example can be seen on pungmul players for a number of folk songs and
shamanistic rituals. But today, it is common to see the use of
gungchae and yeolchae together. 'Gungchae' is used to play the low
Janggu can be played on the floor such as for traditional
sanjo music or carried with a strap on the shoulder. The way
performers carry the
Janggu differs from person to person, from region
to region and varies depending on his or her taste.
The janggu is usually classified as an accompanying instrument because
of its flexible nature and its agility with complex rhythms. Since the
performer can use his or her hands as well as sticks, various sounds
and tempi, deep and full, soft and tender, and menacing sounds, and
fast and slow beats, can be created to suit the mood of the audience.
Using this capability, a dextrous performer can dance along moving his
or her shoulders up and down and make the audience become carried away
and dance along with him or her.'
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Janggu.
Traditional Korean musical instruments
^ "장구와 장단". National Gugak Center. Retrieved 26 April
^ Yi, Yong-sik. Shaman Ritual Music in Korea. Jimoondang
International. ISBN 9781931897105. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
Nathan, Hesselink (2006).P'ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance.
University of Chicago Press.
Janggu : Official Seoul City Tourism
Stringing a Janggu
List of percussion instruments
Triangle (musical instrument)
Washboard (musical instrument)
List of drum manufacturers
List of marimba manufacturers
List of timpani manufacturers
Classification of percussion instrum