SaMul Nori Builds Bonds
Friends Community School celebrated the Lunar New Year today with a performance by traditional Korean percussionist and cultural activist Hyunsook Elizabeth Cho.
Students were introduced to the four main traditional percussion instruments: the JangGu (an hour-glass drum), the Buk (a shallow barrel-shaped drum), the KwengGari (a small hand gong), and the Jing (a large gong). Hyunsook explained the history of the instruments and the music, traditionally known as PoongMul Nori. Originating in farming villages, PoongMul Nori was played at festivals celebrating the harvest moon. Modern, staged versions of the Korean percussion music are known as SaMul Nori.
The music strengthens communities, Hyunsook explained, as people play in unison. The musicians “must not just open their ears and eyes, but open their hearts, too, so they can be in sync with one another,” she said.
Hyunsook rounded out today’s SaMul Nori performance with an invitation for FCS students to join her on stage. Students from different grade levels tried the percussive instruments and experienced creating a rhythm together.