Various Artists

Folk & Classical Music of Korea

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During the height of the Korean War, Folkways released Folk & Classical Music of Korea. Though the peninsula continues to be divided, this album highlights a common love of music. Its 12 tracks include ballads, laments, farmer's songs, and courtly classical music. The album opens up with a folk song from the south. A sweet-sounding female accompanied by flute and chango sings of the bitter life of a daughter in law. "Shin Tan Ga" features drum -- perhaps a chango -- and leathery vocals. Slow and methodical drumming bristles with low rumbles and the staccato punctuations of sharp slaps. These accents are often foreshadowed by the drummer's call. The LP's introduction and liner notes are provided by Kyung Ho Park. Though ethnomusicologists may quibble about the accuracy of the song titles, Folk & Classical Music of Korea is a must-have for anyone interested in traditional Korean music.

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