Traditional Music in Korea: Arirang



Korean original Romanization English translation
아리랑, 아리랑, 아라리요…아리랑 고개로 넘어간다.나를 버리고 가시는 님은십리도 못가서 발병난다. Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…Arirang gogaero neom-eoganda.Nareul beorigo gasineun nim-eunSimnido motgaseo balbyeongnanda. Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…Crossing over Arirang Pass.Dear who abandoned me [here]Shall not walk even ten before his/her feet hurt.

The History of Korean Oppression:

There is a typical folk music in Korea. It demonstrates the loving and caring  in this nation, and it is a patriotic song to evoke public’s personal feelings. Those sounds, called the “menari note,” are associated with children crying, the playing of willow pipes, the chanting of funeral casket bearers, and multiplication-table rote exercises. This melody is the archetype of sounds most familiar to and cherished by Koreans. () “Arirang is beloved by the Korean people and can be sung by virtually all Koreans, so it is clearly a critical factor to assure the unity of the Korean nation”:The Korean In the early 1900s, Japan attempted to implement a cultural genocide in Korea.Japanese efforts to control the Korean peninsula aimed to eradicate the Korean language, Korean family names, and Korean cultural practices. Korean men were coerced into enlisting as Japanese soldiers in World War II. Korean women were captured as sex slaves (known to many as the pejorative euphemism “comfort women”) in military rape camps until the end of the second World War.A tragic song of separation and lost love, Arirang is a national symbol not only of Korea’s distant past, but also its turbulent modern history. It served as a symbol of Korea’s struggle for independence under Japan, and its relevance has remained throughout decades of division and fraternal hostilities.“Arirang represents all the joys and sorrows in the history and lives of Koreans,” says the National Folk Museum of Korea. “It is deeply rooted in Koreans’ emotion as the cultural DNA.” (Arirang, a song of joy and sorrow in modern times) People grow up with this music no matter they live in North and South, they all listen to this kind of music and it evokes their nostalgia feelings about their nations and cultural they carry with. The separation between two countries and the sad past make this music more exotic.