Korean flute

The past couple weeks, I’ve been beginning to work up some pieces to record for the general rounds of summer festivals/residences/etc.  For the first time, I’m preparing all this music without a teacher’s advice, checking in making sure I’m not doing anything crazy or overlooking something important.  This is new for me but now (for the last six months) I’m on my own.  Cut off from my weekly gleaning of instruction, I’ve been doing some research.  One in particular is really interesting, Etude No. 5 by the Korean composer Isang Yun.

Etude No. 5 by Isang Yun

Yun’s music uses a lot of sounds associated with korean music, but I think the ornaments are what really differentiates his music.  Korean flute sounds amazing and extremely varied depending on the type of flute.  I focused my research on Daegeum, Junggeum, and Sogeum flutes, which are transverse bamboo flutes with a vibrating membrane, but there are others, (Traditional Korean Instruments).

In the course of searching out the sources of the sounds in his music, I found surprisingly little about the flutes themselves.  The daegeum, is the only flute that still has a vibrating membrane, which gives it a characteristic buzz.  The junggeum and sogeum originally had a membrane as well and no longer do.  These three flutes were used for the court music, especially the sogeum which is the smallest of the three.

Here’s a recording of a daegeum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24PFu7uKJlk

Another korean flute video, the music starts at 1:00: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xmlTyXgSAI

I found this so interesting.  I’ve done a fair amount of research into Japanese classical and traditional music, and this was so different.  And now I want a daegeum.  I’ll add it to the list, somewhere between a shakahachi and a new piccolo….

I’ve made a couple changes to my site.  You may have noticed, I finally decided to be a grown-up and bought my domain name.  It’s super simple now, just annedearthflute.com.  If you click over to my recordings, I just added Voice of the Whale by George Crumb.  If you don’t know the piece (and even if you do) check it out.  The sounds are meant to imitate whale songs, which is super interesting and cool, and it’s just a really good piece in general.  If you like what you hear, let me know! I’d love to hear from you!  You can check out more of George Crumb’s music here.

6 thoughts on “Korean flute

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  2. annedearthflute says:

    I think I’ve fixed that, thanks for bringing it to my attention! You can follow on wordpress, but there should also be an email subscribe on the home page now.

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  4. mark dearth says:

    Anne: Very interesting post! I will listen to the pieces when I have more time.Forgive me for pointing out that in your posts, which are well written for the most part, have included a few spelling errors or grammatical errors which detract from your post (in a minor but significant way). It would pay you to proof these more carefully and be scrupulous in your grammar and spelling. It may be a small thing, but it conveys a message about you…..(here vs hear for instance in the end of the post and flute vs flutes, “checking in making sure (awkward)…” and so on). Keep up the good work and keep the posts coming! Love you, Dad


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