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date: 20 January 2020


  • Robert C. Provine


End-blown bamboo notched flute of Korea. About 65 cm long, it has five fingerholes and a thumbhole. The treatise Akhak kwebǒm (1493) specifies a cross-shaped opening in a plug at the lower end of the tube (similar to that of a transverse flute), together with two unfingered vents in the sides near the lower end; both the cross-shaped opening and the unfingered holes have nowadays disappeared from the instrument.

Instruments named chǒk were included in a large bequest of instruments for ritual music (aak) from the Song Chinese emperor in 1116. The Akhak kwebǒm (1493) indicates that the chǒk was still used only in ritual music in the 15th century, and this remains the practice nowadays: it is considered a purely Chinese instrument and appears only in the ritual music performed at the twice-yearly Sacrifice to Confucius in Seoul. At the end of each note of the slow melody, the ...

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