Nongakgi(农乐器)

Headword

농악기 ( 农乐器 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts

Writer KimHyejung(金惠貞)

Instruments used to perform nongak (farmers’ music).

Instruments used for nongak include wind instruments such as nabal (long, straight trumpet), swaenap (double-reed oboe), and godong; percussion instruments such as kkwaenggwari (small gong), jing (gong), janggu (hourglass-shaped drum), buk (barrel drum), sogo (hand drum), beopgo (dharma drum) and others. Since the wind instruments are mainly played to give signals, nongak can be defined as percussion ensemble music. The four most important instruments-kkwaenggwari, jing, janggu, and buk-are collectively known as pungjang or pungmul. When the professional percussion ensemble named SamulNori was established, the four instruments also came to be known as samul, meaning “four things.” For village gut, community rites, events, and performances, nongak was orchestrated on a large scale, but musicians also performed solo in village events to celebrate a good harvest or a large catch of fish. Depending on region, the name, size, production method, and arrangement in the performance differed for each instrument.

The characteristics of major instruments are as follows:

  1. Nabal
    This wind instrument is a kind of trumpet with a simple structure consisting of a long, straight pipe of wood or brass. It is also called napal. The straight pipe is made of three parts that collapse into shorter length when the pipe is pushed downwards. Not confined to nongak, the nabal was also used in court music, daechwita (military marching music), and Buddhist ritual music. The nabal used in nongak has a conoid funnel, different from the bell-shaped funnel for the trumpet used in daechwita, and signaled the beginning and end of the performance. For example, when visiting another village for geollip, a performance to raise money or collect rice, the daeposu (lead actor) and a nabal player first stop by the village to ask permission for the nongak group to play there. After permission is granted, the nabal player gives a signal for the troupe to come. Also, on the day a village gut is to be performed, three long notes are played on the nabal as a sign for all the chibae (nongak musicians) in the village to gather. In madangbalbi (rite of treading on the earth gods), the nabal player gives a signal when the troupe has almost arrived at the house for the event.
  2. Swaenap
    This instrument is a double-reed oboe with a pipe made of solid wood. A funnel-type copper dongpalang is connected to the end and a doublereed is attached. The part connecting the pipe and the reed is called jorongmok. The instrument goes by various other names such as hojeok, saenap, nallari, taepyeongso. When played in court music, in particular, it is called taepyeongso. In nongak, it is generally called swaenap or saenap. Since swaenap is the only nongak instrument that plays melodies, its role is to enrich the percussion performance with lively melodies.
  3. Godong
    The godong is a wind instrument similar to the nabal and is also used to give signals. In Gyeongsang-do Province, it is mainly made of wood from royal foxglove trees or bamboo. Depending on region, its name and production method differs. In Chasan, Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbukdo Province it is called godong; in Gosan, Suseong in Daegu it is called ttaenggak or mokdeonggak; in Suyang and Dongnae in Busan it is called yeonggak and nonggak, respectively; and in Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, it is called jukgodong or mokgodong
  4. Kkwaenggwari
    This instrument is a small gong that has various other names: kkaenggari, kkwaengmaegi, kkaengmaegi, soe, gwangsoe, kkwangsoe, and kkaengsoe. Players of the kkwaenggwari are called sangsoe, busoe, samsoe, kkeumsoe and others names depending on the order in which they stand. Sangsoe stands in front and leads the nongak troupe and signals changes in the rhythm or the speed of the music, and also determines the formation of the procession. Indeed, the sangsoe can be likened to the conductor of an orchestra. In regions that continue the gosasori tradition (songs sung with household blessing rites called gosa), the sangsoe is in many cases the one who does the singing, and in gujeongnori he is the one who sometimes performs a solo gong performance (soenoreum, buponoreum). In some regions such solo performances are considered more important than the playing of rhythmic patterns.
  5. Jing
    Also known as the jaeng or soebugi, this instrument is a gong that features in Buddhist music, shaman music, court music, daechwita, and Jongmyojeryeak, the music for the royal ancestral rites of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Made of hand-forged bronze, the jing has a deep vibration and long lingering, far reaching sound that is achieved through the production process. Among the rhythm patterns (jangdan) of nongak, are those named ilchae (one strike), ichae (two strike), and samchae (three strike), indicating the number of times the jing is played in each cycle of the rhythm pattern. The jing is usually played by one or two people. Since the kkwaenggwari and the jing should match each other exactly, the jing player must stand behind the kkwaenggwari player. Among all the nongak instruments, the jing has the farthest reaching sound and can be heard from quite a distance.
  6. Janggu
    This hourglass-shaped, double-headed drum is made of wood, with each head covered in sheep leather. It is usually played with a stick and the hands. When played outside, as in nongak, the player uses two types of sticks: yeolchae and gungchae. With the gungchae, the player sets the beat and with the yeolchae plays the ornamental parts between the beats. The sounds and accents differ when beating the drum with each of the two sticks, and this feature contributed to the development of sophisticated rhythms. The janggu is played by several musicians and the lead player is called seoljanggu or sujanggu.
  7. Buk
    This is a doubled-headed barrel drum that has several different names: maegubuk, geolmaegibuk, pungmulbuk, julbuk and others. Julbuk has the leather on each end fixed with leather string; on the other hand a wedge is inserted under the strings of sswaegibuk to increase tension. A version of the barrel drum with leather heads fixed with nails is usually used for accompaniment in pansori, but it is sometimes featured in nongak. The barrel drum is responsible for the major beats in nongak and serves the musical role of conveying the beat of the rhythm patterns. In addition, some regions are famous for the drum dance (bukchum), the major versions being nalmoebukchum in Gyeongsanbuk-do Province, baekjungnori in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, and jindobukchum in Jindo, Jeollanam-do Province.
  8. Sogo and beopgo
    The sogo and the beopgo refer to small drums. They are divided into two types, those with handles and those hung on a string. In times when leather was scarce, oiled cotton would be used instead to cover the drum heads. As these drums were small and often not made of leather, it can be assumed that they were used for as a prop when dancing rather to make sound. The sogo and the beopgo are also known by different names icluding sogu, beokgu, beokku, beopgu and others. In most cases, one of these drums is used in a nongak performance but in some cases, as in the Gangneung region, the sogu and beopgu are used together.
  9. Jegeum and jaepari
    In some regions cymbals called jepari, joegeum, or jegeum are used in nongak They are included in yeoldugarak (12 rhythms) nongak played in the Ganghwa region and Chungchoengbuk-do Province. The jegeum are also called jabara or barara. When part of a court music ensemble they are called jabara and when used in Buddhist rites barara. In shaman rites, a smaller version called jegeum are used.

The kkwaenggwari and jing are gongs which produce the sound of iron whereas the drums janggu and buk produce the sound of leather. Whlie the kkwaenggwari and janggu can sound more detailed rhythms, the jing and the buk accent the rhythms. The buk sound makes it easy to recognize units of the beat or the cycle of accents, whereas the jing enables listeners to notice the larger rhythm patterns, jangdan. From the sound of the kkwaenggwari and the janggu, detailed rhythmic aspects can be discerned. Nongak is community music that makes the most of the characteristics of the four instruments to produce harmony.

Nongakgi

Nongakgi
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts

Writer KimHyejung(金惠貞)

Instruments used to perform nongak (farmers’ music). Instruments used for nongak include wind instruments such as nabal (long, straight trumpet), swaenap (double-reed oboe), and godong; percussion instruments such as kkwaenggwari (small gong), jing (gong), janggu (hourglass-shaped drum), buk (barrel drum), sogo (hand drum), beopgo (dharma drum) and others. Since the wind instruments are mainly played to give signals, nongak can be defined as percussion ensemble music. The four most important instruments-kkwaenggwari, jing, janggu, and buk-are collectively known as pungjang or pungmul. When the professional percussion ensemble named SamulNori was established, the four instruments also came to be known as samul, meaning “four things.” For village gut, community rites, events, and performances, nongak was orchestrated on a large scale, but musicians also performed solo in village events to celebrate a good harvest or a large catch of fish. Depending on region, the name, size, production method, and arrangement in the performance differed for each instrument. The characteristics of major instruments are as follows: NabalThis wind instrument is a kind of trumpet with a simple structure consisting of a long, straight pipe of wood or brass. It is also called napal. The straight pipe is made of three parts that collapse into shorter length when the pipe is pushed downwards. Not confined to nongak, the nabal was also used in court music, daechwita (military marching music), and Buddhist ritual music. The nabal used in nongak has a conoid funnel, different from the bell-shaped funnel for the trumpet used in daechwita, and signaled the beginning and end of the performance. For example, when visiting another village for geollip, a performance to raise money or collect rice, the daeposu (lead actor) and a nabal player first stop by the village to ask permission for the nongak group to play there. After permission is granted, the nabal player gives a signal for the troupe to come. Also, on the day a village gut is to be performed, three long notes are played on the nabal as a sign for all the chibae (nongak musicians) in the village to gather. In madangbalbi (rite of treading on the earth gods), the nabal player gives a signal when the troupe has almost arrived at the house for the event. SwaenapThis instrument is a double-reed oboe with a pipe made of solid wood. A funnel-type copper dongpalang is connected to the end and a doublereed is attached. The part connecting the pipe and the reed is called jorongmok. The instrument goes by various other names such as hojeok, saenap, nallari, taepyeongso. When played in court music, in particular, it is called taepyeongso. In nongak, it is generally called swaenap or saenap. Since swaenap is the only nongak instrument that plays melodies, its role is to enrich the percussion performance with lively melodies. GodongThe godong is a wind instrument similar to the nabal and is also used to give signals. In Gyeongsang-do Province, it is mainly made of wood from royal foxglove trees or bamboo. Depending on region, its name and production method differs. In Chasan, Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbukdo Province it is called godong; in Gosan, Suseong in Daegu it is called ttaenggak or mokdeonggak; in Suyang and Dongnae in Busan it is called yeonggak and nonggak, respectively; and in Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, it is called jukgodong or mokgodong KkwaenggwariThis instrument is a small gong that has various other names: kkaenggari, kkwaengmaegi, kkaengmaegi, soe, gwangsoe, kkwangsoe, and kkaengsoe. Players of the kkwaenggwari are called sangsoe, busoe, samsoe, kkeumsoe and others names depending on the order in which they stand. Sangsoe stands in front and leads the nongak troupe and signals changes in the rhythm or the speed of the music, and also determines the formation of the procession. Indeed, the sangsoe can be likened to the conductor of an orchestra. In regions that continue the gosasori tradition (songs sung with household blessing rites called gosa), the sangsoe is in many cases the one who does the singing, and in gujeongnori he is the one who sometimes performs a solo gong performance (soenoreum, buponoreum). In some regions such solo performances are considered more important than the playing of rhythmic patterns. JingAlso known as the jaeng or soebugi, this instrument is a gong that features in Buddhist music, shaman music, court music, daechwita, and Jongmyojeryeak, the music for the royal ancestral rites of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Made of hand-forged bronze, the jing has a deep vibration and long lingering, far reaching sound that is achieved through the production process. Among the rhythm patterns (jangdan) of nongak, are those named ilchae (one strike), ichae (two strike), and samchae (three strike), indicating the number of times the jing is played in each cycle of the rhythm pattern. The jing is usually played by one or two people. Since the kkwaenggwari and the jing should match each other exactly, the jing player must stand behind the kkwaenggwari player. Among all the nongak instruments, the jing has the farthest reaching sound and can be heard from quite a distance. JangguThis hourglass-shaped, double-headed drum is made of wood, with each head covered in sheep leather. It is usually played with a stick and the hands. When played outside, as in nongak, the player uses two types of sticks: yeolchae and gungchae. With the gungchae, the player sets the beat and with the yeolchae plays the ornamental parts between the beats. The sounds and accents differ when beating the drum with each of the two sticks, and this feature contributed to the development of sophisticated rhythms. The janggu is played by several musicians and the lead player is called seoljanggu or sujanggu. BukThis is a doubled-headed barrel drum that has several different names: maegubuk, geolmaegibuk, pungmulbuk, julbuk and others. Julbuk has the leather on each end fixed with leather string; on the other hand a wedge is inserted under the strings of sswaegibuk to increase tension. A version of the barrel drum with leather heads fixed with nails is usually used for accompaniment in pansori, but it is sometimes featured in nongak. The barrel drum is responsible for the major beats in nongak and serves the musical role of conveying the beat of the rhythm patterns. In addition, some regions are famous for the drum dance (bukchum), the major versions being nalmoebukchum in Gyeongsanbuk-do Province, baekjungnori in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, and jindobukchum in Jindo, Jeollanam-do Province. Sogo and beopgoThe sogo and the beopgo refer to small drums. They are divided into two types, those with handles and those hung on a string. In times when leather was scarce, oiled cotton would be used instead to cover the drum heads. As these drums were small and often not made of leather, it can be assumed that they were used for as a prop when dancing rather to make sound. The sogo and the beopgo are also known by different names icluding sogu, beokgu, beokku, beopgu and others. In most cases, one of these drums is used in a nongak performance but in some cases, as in the Gangneung region, the sogu and beopgu are used together. Jegeum and jaepariIn some regions cymbals called jepari, joegeum, or jegeum are used in nongak They are included in yeoldugarak (12 rhythms) nongak played in the Ganghwa region and Chungchoengbuk-do Province. The jegeum are also called jabara or barara. When part of a court music ensemble they are called jabara and when used in Buddhist rites barara. In shaman rites, a smaller version called jegeum are used. The kkwaenggwari and jing are gongs which produce the sound of iron whereas the drums janggu and buk produce the sound of leather. Whlie the kkwaenggwari and janggu can sound more detailed rhythms, the jing and the buk accent the rhythms. The buk sound makes it easy to recognize units of the beat or the cycle of accents, whereas the jing enables listeners to notice the larger rhythm patterns, jangdan. From the sound of the kkwaenggwari and the janggu, detailed rhythmic aspects can be discerned. Nongak is community music that makes the most of the characteristics of the four instruments to produce harmony.