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their long history, Koreans have had an outstanding love of music and
dance. In the distant past, villagers gathered to sing and dance to
celebrate planting and harvesting, which was probably the origin of folk music
and dance, still widely enjoyed and appreciated.
Korean traditional music
can be divided into two major types: chong-ak for the noble class and sogak
for the common people.
consists of music performed at court and tended to be slow and solemn with
elaborate melodic lines. Sogak
included shaman and Buddhist music, folk songs and dramatic songs and was
usually more colorful and vibrant, appealing to the emotions.
music was introduced at the end of the 19th century and gained rapid
acceptance. Today, there are a number of Korean musicians performing and
Korean dance may be divided into court dance, folk dance, ritual dance and the
dance of professional entertainers. Court dances are slow, stately and
elegant with restrained, balanced movement. Folk dance includes farmers
dance, mask dance-dramas and various group dances combining song and dance,
often accompanying work. Ritual dance included sedate Confucian dances
more lively shaman and Buddhist dances and funeral dances.
entertainers performed both court and folk dances. Many of their dances
combined features of the two. Many traditional dances were forgotten
during the colonial period and the chaotic early years of the Republic, but in
the 1980s, interest in these long-forgotten dances revived and several were
designated Intangible Cultural Properties by the Government with their
performers being designated Human Cultural Treasures.
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