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Arirang

Page history last edited by Louis Bergonzi 8 years, 11 months ago

 

 

Arirang: Korean Folk Song

 

Arranged Michael Story. (Miami, FL: Belwin Mills, 2005).

 

Authenticity Score from only purchased publication: 2=EURO-AMERICAN ARTISTIC PROCESSES

 


 

 

Essential Questions & Information about Arirang

 

 

What cultural and historical facts to do we know about the song?

 

ARIRANG is perhaps the most popular of all Korean folk songs. Some scholars think it was written 150 years ago near the end of the Choson Dynasty (1392-1910). Others believe it is much older—possibly more than 1,000 years. ARIRANG tells the story of a heartbroken maiden who wishes that her departing sweetheart will have sore feet before he has gone “ten li” (about two and a half miles) and will have to come back to her" (program notes from score). However, there clearly is more than one version of the folk tale. Indeed, there are indeed conflicting stories. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is either longing for her lost love, glad that he has gone, or is ambivalent about his departure.

 

아리랑

Arirang

Chorus and Verse 1

Arirang.verse1.pdf

 

Chorus and Verse 

Romanization

Translated into English

 

 

Chorus

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo...

Arirang gogaero neomeoganda

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo...

I am crossing over Arirang Pass.

Verse 1

Nareul beorigo gasineun nimeun

Simnido motgaseo balbyeongnanda

 

 Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo..

The man/woman who abandoned me

Will not walk even ten li before his/her feet hurt.

 

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo...

Verse 2

Cheongcheonghaneuren byeoldo manko

Urine gaseumen kkumdo manta

 

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo..

Just as there are many stars in the clear sky,

There are also many dreams in our heart.     

 

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo...

Verse 3

Jeogi jeo sani Baekdusaniraji

Dongji seotdaredo kkonman pinda

 

 Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo..

There, over there that mountain is Baekdu Mountain,

Where, even in the middle of winter days, flowers bloom.

 

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo...

 

 

  1. What is the song like when sounded by traditional instruments/voices?

    Korean folk instruments include both plucked and bowed string instruments. There are video and audio resources further down this page.

     

  2. How is the song taught traditionally?

    The song is taught by ear traditionally. Of course, there are many notated versions of the song (see #4).

     

  3. How does the song live today for the people of and from that culture?

    1. How does Arirang mean for people who live in Korea today?

       

      Arirang has “moved” from the song it was a long time ago. Pop arrangers, rock bands, jazz bands, solo performers, and symphony orchestras have adapted the song for modern concert audiences and the internet.

       

      The song is used as part of large outdoor ceremonies in both North and South Korea. "Arirang" is also the the name of one of the largest television networks in South Korea.

       

    2. What does Arirang mean to people from Korea or people whose families are from Korea who live in our community today?

       

      One of our orchestra moms says that the song is so amazingly popular that she doesn't think most people know how or when they learned it. It is just the kind of song that everyone "just knows." It is sort of like learnig to tie our own shoes. We know how but probably don't remeber much about learning to do this. Arirang is like that for people in and from Korea.

       

      Mrs. Kim from the Atlanta, Georgia (USA) says that in Korea there are many mountain passes with the name Arirang and no one is sure which is the one from the story. Because of this, it is also possible to interpret Arirang not as a physical location but as a state of mind or as a place better than the here and now. This viewpoint is a long way from Snow White waiting for Prince Charming to return.

       

      It would be great if some students or anyone from Korea were to find out about this Wiki and add to information here. Can anyone help?

       

  4. How we can play the song in a way that illustrates what we’ve learned about how a person can reflect and respect a song and the people who own it and think it important?

     

    Students in the Florida Middle School All-State decided that Michael Story’s arrangement for string orchestra is less related to these contemporary performances than it is to the older folk song connected to the folk tale. They conclude that the arrangement demonstrates the personal, contemplative nature of the folk song. So they further decided to alter the arrangement to increase its connection to the personal nature of the folk song. Therefore, instead of the large first violin section playing the melody after the arrangement’s four-measure introduction, they decided to begin with a single violinist playing the first verse and then have the rest of the violinists enter at the repetition of mm. 5–12, which we also add.

     

    In Illinois, students decided to begin with everyone playing the song on their own to reflect the personal and aural nature of the song. The resulting cacophony merged into a unison performance and segued into the arrangement itself. As each player aurally recognized that the bass section had begun to play together, he or she stopped playing at his or her own speed and style and joined in with the larger group. When the tutti version concluded, the piano entered with the introduction from the arrangement, which the orchestra played as written. This last part reflected the videos we saw in which Arirang was performed by an orchestra in different ways (e.g., accompanying a vocal solo or a piano rhapsody or as an outdoor festival showpiece).

     

    In Wisconsin, the 2007 Middle School Honors Orchestra decided that each player would play the song through by her or himself, in their own way, as many times as they wanted, ending on a sustained open D-string. When everyone had come together on the open-D (softly), the piano would begin the introduction from the arrangement. They would play through the arrangement without a conductor. This group didn't have much time together to think of ways of doing it, but this seemed to work out ok. What was nice was that we spent time finding new versions of the song on You-Tube, which we added to this entry. There were some pop/rock/"head bangin'" ones that got us wanting to do an amplified, rock-modern version. But we didn't have the time.

 

 

In California, the 2013 CMEA All-State Middle School Orchestra (TBD)

 

Print Sources

 

  1. Story, Michael. Arirang: Korean Folk Song. (Musical score.) Miami, FL: Belwin Mills, 2005.
  2. Lyrics and notation for Verse 1 pdf

 

Website Sources

Source Name Page #
Short Note or Quote
Story, Michael. Arirang: Korean Folk Song. (Musical score.) Miami, FL: Belwin Mills, 2005. cover     

"ARIRANG is perhaps the most popular of all Korean folk songs. Some scholars think it was written 150 years ago near the end of the Choson Dynasty. Others believe it is much older—possibly more than 1,000 years. ARIRANG tells the story of a heartbroken maiden who wishes that her departing sweetheart will have sore feet before he has gone “ten li” (about two and a half miles) and will have to come back to her"

There are indeed conflicting stories. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is either longing for her lost love, glad that he has gone, or is ambivalent about his departure.

Arriang: An Interactive Classroom on the Korean-American Experience  

This excellent web-based social studies unit from PBS is designed for secondary school students in the US. With multimedia resources and lesson plans, it is organized into four parts, by essential questions and themes:

1. A century ago, would you have moved to a new country? (Early Immigration)

2. What if your country of origin had been taken over by invaders? (Resistance to Oppression)

3. What is the effect of contemporary immigration being "color blind"? (The New Immigration)

4. Are the new Americans in the margin or in the mainstream? (Building Multi-cultural America)

 

Audio Sources

 

  1. There are about 50 performances of Arirang here. You can download the files to your iPod. On the site,  "Arirang" it has its own section, "Arirang - the Song of Thousand Years."  Scroll down until you find it.
  2. Here's an informative female vocal verson by Jongja Choi
  3. Here's a version by the American "easy listening" folk pianist, George Winston.  "I think he does a good job of reflecting the rhythmic back and forth  of the traditional versons. The beat is not 100% predictable just like it is not in the traditional version." (L. Bergonzi)
  4. HaeChui Shin and Next Band

  5. Heart of Coree
  6. SonYoung Yi

  7. DoHyun Yoon Band

 

Video Sources

If the separate videos do not load, they are all part of this playlist.

 

 

 


RiuGang Num has replied to your comment on Arirang.

This is a performance at a Folk Song Festival in China.

Most verses were sang in Korean but the last verse was sang in Chinese.

 

Variations on a Korean Folk Song for Band. (Which folk song do you think?)

Uploaded on Apr 25, 2008

This is arranged by John Barnes Chance. There are 5 movements Con Molto, Vivace, Larghetto, Allegro con brio, and Con Islancio. The Mount Prospect Community Band is sponsored by the Mount Prospect Park District and directed by Ralph Wilder.

 

 

Arirang by Jang Sa Ik The title of the song is "Gangnam Arirang." Gangnam means "south of the river," but in this case, the word refers to the direction= in which birds migrate during winter.

 


The lyrics of the first part (soloist) of the song is something like: "It is almost March when birds return from the south, we will,

too, have spring again." Added 12/17/07

 

 A contemporary and (still) personal rendition. How does technology change Arirang's presence around the world?
   
What else does this performance tell you about what Arirang means for the people who live in Korea today? (Question 4a). Where in your country or society would a song be presented in the way that Arirang is presented here?

Grandparents Singing Arirang

Meeting them was bittersweet for me. They're old and I don't know if this would be the last time I saw them. So many memories that could have been...but I'm very grateful that they're in good health. I hope I could see them again very soon. 

   

 
What about the purpose of Arirang here?   

 

 

 

 

Sources Used

 

Source Name

Location Description
Arirang Arriang: An Interactive Classroom on the Korean-American Experience An interactive classrom on the Korean-American Experience by PBS
Arts of Asia  The Arts of Asia Cultures with long histories—like many in Asia—can be difficult to grasp. This guide to Korea's historical periods describes its major eras in terms of artistic production and significant political developments.
     

 

 

Performances of Arirang by Students in School, Youth, and Honor Orchestras

 

Orchestra Name Month-Year School-Location
Conductor-Teacher
Florida Middle School All-State String Orchestra 02-07 Tampa, FL Louis Bergonzi
Illinois Summer Youth Music Junior Orchestra 07-07 Champaign-Urbana, IL Louis Bergonzi
Wisconsin State  Music Education  Association Middle Level  State Honors Orchestra 10-07 Madison, WI Louis Bergonzi
California Middle School All-State Orchestra  02-13  Fresno, CA  Louis Bergonzi 

 

 


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