Janggu and Drum, Traditional Percussion Instruments of Korean Nation


In Korea, percussion instruments have long played a big role in developing the national music for their peculiar tunes and tones suited to Korean people's feelings and emotion.

Typical of the traditional percussion instruments are Janggu and drum. Janggu is an hourglass-shaped drum with two sound boxes, two batter heads and tension ropes. And drum is a musical instrument made from a skin stretched over both ends of a hollow tube.

They have been loved by the people as they represent the national characteristics most wonderfully.

It is well evidenced by old paintings. A figure dancing to the tune of Janggu can be seen on Koguryo tomb murals dating back to the 6th century. And a drum is among the instrumental march music band drawn on a mural at the mausoleum of King Kogukwon.

Through the development of history, Janggu and drum played a significant role in national instrumental ensembles.

Kim Hong Do, a famous painter of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910), in his Korean painting "Dance" vividly depicted the Janggu beater and drummer immersed in performance.

Sin Yun Bok, a painter representing the realistic genre in the 18th century, too, drew national percussion instruments in his Korean painting "Sword Dance".

Nowadays, Janggu and drum are contributing to enhancing the musical representation.



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