Janggo Dance, Folk Dance of Korea

Janggo Dance, Folk Dance of Korea

Janggo Dance is one of the time-honoured folk dances of Korea. Janggo, a kind of hourglass drum which is the main property played in the dance, originated from yogo, a musical instrument of Koguryo, and it has been a favourite percussion instrument of the Korean people for a long time. The left side of janggohas a big resonance box used for drumming and the right side has a small one beaten with a stick held in the right hand. In terms of interval and acoustic quality the left side gives forth gentle and deep sound while the right side produces sharp and articulate sound of higher pitch than the left side. Thus, janggo assumes the role of two drums at the same time, presenting various kinds of Korean tunes and mystery tones freely.

Janggo Dance was established as a separate piece of folk dance asjanggo players who were originally in charge of the accompaniment for the dancing and singing of peasants entertained audiences by dancing with the janggo.




The main dancing movement consists in nimble waving of the arms to match the drum-beating. Janggois usually played by beating the left and right heads and the drum body. Also there are normal beating and reverse beating in janggo beating. The normal beating is to beat the right head with a stick held in the right hand, and at the same time beat the left head with the left hand. The reverse beating means beating the opposite head. JanggoDance is based on indigenous techniques of presenting different tunes and variations of rhythm in close combination with movements of arms and walking.

Janggo Dance, Folk Dance of Korea
Janggo Dance, Folk Dance of Korea

Not only men but also women can play Janggo Dance. Men’s dance is active, virile and cheerful while women’s is mild, graceful and pleasant. As the dance incorporates many kinds of dancing movements well-matched with merry rhythms, it is inherent art of Korean dancing full of national flavour. The unique rhythms and techniques of Janggo Dance have well developed to suit the modern emotions. It is re-presented in dancing pieces such as the solo dance JanggoDance and the group dance Yangsando. Its merits are widely introduced in creation of different dancing

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