Korea – Hanbit Poogmul Band

Korea1   Hanbit Poogmul Band of the Elementary School attached to Seoul National University of Education is a Korean traditional music performance group with over 10 years of tradition. The word “Hanbit” means one large light, a ray of light in Pure Korean, and the word “Poogmul” means instruments for Korean traditional percussion music in Korean. The members are composed of 49 boys and girls aging from 10 years old to 12 years old, and they mainly perform Samulnori and Pangut which are Korean traditional music. Although they are very young, they are capable of performing with high quality and dexterity since they practice every day before class starts and during school breaks. They also have experience of performing in various recitals, competitions, overseas performance. In 2013, the group has earned recognition by winning the highest prize for Seoul Elementary School Poogmulnori Competition. Even though they are not majoring in Korean traditional music and it is not easy for ordinary students to study and practice music simultaneously, the members of Hanbit Poogmul Band of the Elementary School are performing with pride of learning and promoting the great Korean traditional music to people despite their tight schedule. With more chances to perform in front of various audiences, we wish to present our Korean traditional music to people in many countries.     Program   -Utsadari Samulnori- Samulnori is a traditional music, composed of rhythms originating from every region of Korea, made to be performed on stage. The word Samul is originally from Buddhist terminology, but in Korean traditional music, it indicates four instruments: Korean small gongs, janggu, drum, and gong. Thus, Samulnori is an ensemble piece made of these four percussion instruments. In Korea, Korean small gong represents the sound of thunder, Janggu represents shower, drum represents cloud, and gong represents wind. Korean small gong and gong are percussion instruments made of iron, and janggu and drum are percussion instruments made of wood and animal skin. People in the old days often compared sound of these instruments with weather conditions of sky. In this program, the drum starts as Jeomgo(sound of drum indicating the start of music) and follow Jjeokjjeoki, Chilchae, Yukchae, Madangsamchae, Hwimori rhythm accordingly. This performance is characterized with lively and upbeat ending part. The combined sound of janggu played with two different sticks on animal skin, drum played vertically with one stick, small gong and gong made of iron, will be very harmonious. Especially, pay close attention to JjakSweNolEum, the ending part where two small gongs are played together.   -Pangut(Poongmulnori)- Pangut(Poongmulnori) is Korean traditional music mainly played during village festival or during working on the field, or in order to wish for goodness and peace of the village. It involves several kinds of instruments, often tied to players, and also involves singing, dance, parade, and games. Poogmulnori has a longer history than Samulnori; while Samulnori performers can play various, fast beats because they sit during the performance, Poongmulnori performers play in various formations because they stand up during the performance. This piece comprises of several instruments, Sangmonori, and 12balnori. The composition of Poongmulpae includes wind instrument called Taepyeongso, and percussion instruments such as small gong, drum, janggu, and gong. It requires more instruments than Samulnori and players tie instruments to themselves or carry the instruments on hand and make various formations. Especially, this performance is characterized with players wearing and spinning Sangmo(a kind of hat) during performance. However, in some regions, players wear hats adorned with flowers called “Gokkal” instead of Sangmo. Playing instrument and spinning Sangmo simultaneously is a very difficult technique for even adults. You can see young students wearing and spinning hats called “12Bal” which have longer threads than Sangmo.