Soung Gumnyon

Memories of Kayagum

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An album of Korean kayagum music from the uber-massive JVC/King/Victor Ethnic Sound Series/World Sounds collection. Soung Gumnyon performs on the kayagum, a larger relative of the ajeng zither (itself a descendant of the Chinese zithers). The music for kayagum is somewhat more lively and tuneful than much of the court music associated with Korean instrumentals, but still retains much of the sparseness that characterizes the forms. The sustained notes of the ajeng are generally replaced by sharper, short plucks, occasionally making an almost Western sound. Only occasionally however. Fans of some of the more sparse art music of East Asia may find this a welcome addition to their collection, though newcomers to Korean traditional music should be forewarned: this is certainly an acquired taste in music.