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date: 14 November 2019


  • Robert C. Provine


Long brass trumpet of Korea. It is also pronounced nap’al. The only surviving metal wind instrument in Korea, it is constructed in three collapsible sections terminating with a basin-shaped bell. It was sometimes used with the taepyongso (conical oboe), kkwaenggwari (small gong), changgo (hourglass drum), ching (large gong), sogo (small frame drum with handle), and puk (shallow barrel drum) in p’ungmul nori ensembles that performed for village agricultural festivities. By the 1980s its use was limited to the military processional music Taech’wit’a, in which it is required to produce only a single pitch, alternating long-sustained notes with the conch horn nagak. The nabal bears some resemblance to the taegak (‘large trumpet’) described in the treatise Akhak kwebom (1493/R), but otherwise little documentary evidence attests to its history in Korea. A similar instrument is the Chinese Laba (i). (Hahn Myung-Hee: A Study of Musical Instruments in Korean Traditional Music...

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