Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Arirang

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Globe with eighth note

When I came across this video of Stephen Hough playing his arrangement of the Korean folk song Arirang as an encore at a concert in Seoul, I knew I had to share it with you.  It is beautiful.  The audience laughs in surprise and delight when they realize what he is playing.

To call Arirang a Korean folk song is an understatement.  It is the Korean folk song, an unofficial national anthem, known by folks of all ages.  And yet it is many songs; each generation has its own version, each region has its own verses.  But the song remains.  And it is not only a national treasure:  the song’s importance has been recognized by UNESCO, and it is on the List of Intangible Cultural HeritageHere is a traditional version.

Here is a modern interpretation, still beautiful, but far from traditional, by popular singer Sohyang.  You will see people singing along in the audience.

And K-pop fans would chastise me for not including the BTS cover of the song.

The world is filled with wonderful music!

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Image attribution:  Image of globe and eighth note via Wikimedia Commons.

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