History of Gayageum
The most representative relic that shows the existence of stringed instrument in korea around the beginning of AD is the stringed instrument found in Shinchangdong of Gwangju in 1997.
This area was Mahan during the three Hans and enjoyed high quality culture based on abundant agricultural productivity. The stringed instrument from Shinchangdong was found with its another half missing. It is estimated that noble people rather than ordinary people played this instrument while singing at the same time.
On the other hand, a similar shape instrument was also found in Eimdangdong of Gyeongsan Gyeongbuk in 1997, and the coating was tainted. It is also reported that a similar instrument was found in Dahori tomb of Changwon Gyeongnam. Through these, it is known that there were various musical instruments in three Hans of Mahan, Byunhan and Jinhan.
In addition, according to Wejidongejun of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there was a musical instrument called swl in Byunjinhan and it resembed chook. Therefore, it is known that there was a stringed instrument different from swl or chook of China.
Therefore, Gayageum that was made during the time of King Gasil of Daegaya in 6th century integrating the stringed instruments of various regions and making an instrument of 12 strings with same size and shape.
Constitution of Dayageum
Gayageum has different structures according to its type. There are Jungak Gayageum for playing Jungak and Sanjo Gayageum for playing folk music. Gayageum consists of body, 12 strings and ahnjok (resembles wild goose foot). There are jwadan, hyunchim, dolgwe and so forth on the area where the right hand is placed when playing. There are also budle to hook the string to the body under the left hand and hakswl to connect string. Jungak Gayageum has the budle area that is called Yangedo because it resembles sheep's ear and Sanjo Gayageum has the budle area that is called Bongmi because it resembles the tale of phoenix. There is a vibration hole bon the back of Sanjo Gayageyum and there is woonjok that resembles the foot of the cloud.
Types of Gayageum
It is Gayageum to play royal music or poongryu music of scholars and is called Jungak Gayageum or Bupgeum. It is estimated that Gayageum made by Ureuk is today's poongryu Gayageum. Around 9th century, it went from Unified Shilla to Japan under the name Shillageum. Poongryu Gayageum makes soft and deep sounds with relatively slow melody. Poongryu Gayageum is used for big wind and string instruments concert music such as Yeominrak, Pyeongjohwesang and so forth as well as Julpoongryu concert music such as Youngsanhwesang, Chunyunmanse, Boheosa and so forth and accompaniment music for song.
Sanjo Gayageum is improved Gayageum to play high and fast melody in order to fit the playing of folk music of the 19th century. This Gayageum affected Namdo shamanism music and pansori and produced a new music genre called Sanjo.
21 String Gayageum
It is the Gayageum with 21 strings in order to play various notes of creative music or Korean orchestral music after 1990s. The left hand nonghyun method that was heavily used for the traditional Gayageum was changed to right hand method or both hands playing.
25 String Gayageum
The 25 string Gayageum was newly invented to play the low, medium and high notes and is the improved Gayageum that became popular after 1995. The number of strings was increased to broaden the range, and the sound from the body became longer and more abundant. It is widely used for creative music and is playing an important role in broadening the range of music.
18 String Gayageum
It is improved Gayageum made by Go Heung Gon according to the request of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts. The number of strings was increased to produce various sounds and broader range of vibration so that new songs composed with modern touch can be played. Currently, 18 string Gayageum is used to play the new songs specifically composed for it.
Gayageum Music Sheet
It is music book that was made by the minister of rites Sung Hyun and others in 1493 (Sungjong 24), and it consists of 3 books and 9 volumes.
It describes in detail Aark, Dangak, Hyangak during the reign of Sungjong after the foundation of Chosun and played an important role in preventing the loss of music later.
It is the best practical music theory book at that time, and its content include the idea and theory of music, system of music and placement of musical instruments for sacrifice, order of dance, rule of musical instruments, ritual items and official clothes.
The detailed record about Gayageum's origin, structure and manufacture is introduced in volume 7.
It is the best existing history book in the Age of Three Kingdoms edited by Kim Bu Sik and others in 1145 (Injong 23).
It consists of 28 main record books (10 Koguryo books, 6 Baekjae books, 12 Shilla and Unified Shilla Dynasty books), 9 Ge books, 3 Pyo books and 10 biographies. Aakji the musical record is in volume 32, and it contains records about the music history and musical instruments of Shilla, Koguryo and Baekjae and explains about the origin and development of Gayageum and Gayageum music.