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date: 20 September 2019

Samul Nori [Samullori]locked

  • Robert C. Provine

Extract

[Samullori]

Korean percussion group whose name (roughly meaning ‘playing of four objects’) was adopted for a recently developed genre of Korean traditional music. The first performance of this type of music by the original group took place in February 1978 at the Space Theatre in Seoul, when the members were Kim Duk-soo (Kim Tŏksu, changgo), Kim Yongbae (kkwaenggwari), Lee Kwang-soo (Yi Kwangsu, puk) and Choi Jong-sil (Ch'oi Chongsil, ching). After a number of personnel changes, only Kim Duk-soo (b 1952) remains from the original group. The group had enormous success in Korea and many international tours after 1982, making several recordings and collaborating with jazz, rock and orchestral musicians.

While the music of Samul Nori is largely derived from parts of traditional Korean farmers' band music (nongak or p'ungmul kut), it is played only on two drums and two gongs (rather than by a large band), is played seated on an indoor stage (instead of dancing outdoors), and has a much more developed, professionalized and virtuoso style. The music undergoes constant development and modification, the four most popular pieces being ...

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