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date: 14 November 2019

Chin’golocked

  • Robert C. Provine

Extract

Large Korean barrel drum supported on a four-legged stand. It is related to the Chinese jingu and is the largest Korean drum in current use. Two cowhide heads (about 110 cm in diameter) are tacked to the slatted wooden body (about 155 cm long), which is painted a plain red; the struck head has a yin–yang symbol in the centre and multi-coloured decoration around the edge. The standing player strikes only one head, in the centre, with a large soft-headed mallet. The sound can be very deep and imposing, but in humid weather the drumskin might be too slack to produce a resonant sound.

The chin’go was imported from China as part of a large gift of instruments from the Song Chinese emperor in 1116, and its use has always been restricted to ceremonial music. At present it is played only in Seoul in the twice-yearly Sacrifice to Confucius, the annual Sacrifice to Royal Ancestors, and the sacrificial music for the 19th-century Kydǒgmo Shrine. It appears in the ...

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