Culture & Sports > Udo Nongak > Origin
Instrumental music of peasants
(hereafter referred to as peasant music) in Korea differ slightly depending on the region in the details of the music element, dancing element, play element,and others.
So in general it is classified into the Utdari one, Youngdong, Honam, and Yeongnam ones.
Among them, Honam Peasant Music is the most developed one and it is classified into Right Region Peasant Music on the plain along the western coast and Left Region Peasant Music in the mountain area.
The simple popular folk music, the peasant music is the largest in scale among traditional culture/arts in Korea and it is a comprehensive and traditional performance art that add a zest and excitement of people with the basic musical instrument and melody.
Around the time when the Jeongeup Peasant Music developed, it is recorded that Jeongsan Religion (founder: Jeongsan Gang), which was deeply involved in the Farmers' Revolution showed great interest in the peasant music. In the 1920's, Bocheon Religion (founder: Cha KyeongSeok at Daeheung-ri, Ipam-myeon, Jeongeup city) designated peasant music as the religious music and invited musicians to have large-scale concerts to promote the peasant music.
It was around this time that the foundation of the Right Region Peasant Music was established and the masters of the time in the peasant music are as follows:
Gong - Gim DoSam, Gim GangRae, Park SeongGeun, Sin DuOk, Jeon ISeop, Cheon SaJong, Park NamSik, Hyeon PanSoe
Double-headed drum - Gim HongJip, Lee BongMun, Sin GiSeong, Lee MyeongSik, Cheon SaSeop, Lee JeongBeom, Gim ByeongSeop, Lee DongWon, Chu GyeDong… Tail (on the hat) dancing - O DongJeong, Paek NamYun, Han PanOk, Ju GiWhan, Hong YuBong… Small hand drum (with the peaked hat worn by the player) - Gwon JaeGi, Yu JongGwon, Gim JongSu, etc All of them were well-known masters in the period from the late 1940's to 1970's and there artistic skills were non-competed at those times.
Since early 1980's people related with the peasant music in Jeongeup have made research on the Right Region Peasant Music with the purpose of brining back the honor to Jeongeup as the center of the Right Region Peasant Music.
They established a farmers' music band and masters such as Yu JiWha, and Gim JongSu has trained their juniors. A special center for the training of the Right Region Peasant Music was also built. All those efforts helped the Jeongeup Peasant Music to enjoy a boom again.
The peasant music
has various formats depending on the region.
And the characteristics of the Jeongup Peasant Music, which developed the most balanced and beautiful harmony of song, dance, music and play elements of peasant music are as follows.
First, basic melody is various and the rhythm is colorful. In particular, the Road Music is quite difficult to play since it is written in a mixture of two-quarters and three-quarters times to create unique and delicate taste. This is known as one of the best peasant music. Second, the hat that the gong player wears is called "swollen hat" and their performance is really something to see. But it is difficult to learn the performance, since the skills are very delicate and require a lot of exercise. Masters in this part are Na GeumChu and Yu JjWha, etc.
Third, "Small Hand Drum Performance" in colorful costume is very stylish with its rapidly changing gestures in line with melody and harmonious formations. The master in this area is Gim JongSu, who is putting his energy in training juniors.
Fourth, this is traditional folk art indigenous to this region. Each movement starts in a slow tempo and gradually gets faster and faster to become very exciting and loud music like western rock-and-roll. It has a clear plot of starting, development and conclusion.