The Korean Tanpura

Video Description

Ajaeng The ajaeng is a Korean string instrument. It resembles the Indian musical instrument, Tanpura. The ajaeng arrived in Korea from China during the Koryo dynasty. It is a wide zither with strings made of twisted silk, played by means of a slender stick made of forsythia wood, which is scraped against the strings in the manner of a bow. The unique version of the musical instrument that is used in the court music, has 7 strings, while the version of the musical instrument that is used for sanjo and sinawi has 8 strings, some versions of the musical instrument have about 9 strings. The ajaeng is generally played while seated on the floor. It has a tone similar to that of a cello, but raspier. Some contemporary players prefer to use an actual horsehair bow rather than a stick, believing the sound to be smoother. The bark of the forsythia tree is peeled, and the surface is smoothed to make a ridge. Ribbon is used to paint the rosin because it reinforces the rubbing sound of string and string. Though the sound is rough because it makes a sound by rubbing a thick line with a forsythia tree instead of a horsehair, it is also a feature of Ajaeng. Nowadays, however, Sanjo Ajaeng is using a horsehooking band.

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