Traditional Korean Instruments

Traditional Korean Instruments

Traditional Korean instruments include a variety of string and wind musical instruments. Many of these musical instruments were originally Chinese, but they have been adapted and molded to fit into Korean culture.


Traditional Korean instruments, like janggu, are an important part of the culture. These instruments can create a wide range of sounds, ranging from delicate rhythm changes to thunder. They also help maintain the rhythm within an ensemble.

In traditional performances, a percussionist would strike a janggu with a wooden stick. He would then blow into the hole to produce a sound. These instruments are used to accompany traditional sanjo music.

Another important instrument in the Korean tradition is a hyang-piri. This flute-like instrument is similar to the Western oboe. It can be played on all 12 distinct tones. The double-reed on this instrument produces dark tones. It is commonly used in the principal melody of large ensemble works.

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Another Korean instrument is a jing, or gong. It is made of brass and can be hung on a frame or hand-held. In traditional performance, it was used to call people together. It was also used to signal the end of the music.

In Korea, jing drums were traditionally played by a male drummer, sitting seated on the floor. Today, a janggu is usually slung over the shoulder. The performer can play the instrument with a bamboo reed or his or her hands. The range of the janggu is nearly three octaves.

Ajaeng is an instrument that was primarily used during the Koryo Dynasty. Its construction includes a rectangular base with paulownia wood, seven silk strings, and three tuning systems. This instrument was mostly played in the lower registers.


If you’re familiar with the Korean music culture, you’ll know that it is home to an impressive collection of musical instruments. They fall into three categories: string instruments, wind instruments, and woodwind instruments. Each category is distinguished by the playing technique. For example, a string instrument is played by plucking strings to produce a sound, whereas a wind instrument is generally played by blowing.

In the field of string instruments, the daegum is the largest of the samchuk, which are three bamboo flutes. It is also the most versatile, producing a wide range of tone qualities. The instrument is made of bamboo and has six fingered holes. It can be played by a single person or a pair. The back hole is used for a raspy sound, while the front hole is used for a clearer, crisper sound.

The junggum is a samchuk with six fingered holes, and its pitch is slightly higher than that of the daegum. Its shape is a bit different than the daegum, as it is constructed with a rectangular board of paulownia wood. It is generally used to play in the lower registers.

Another wind instrument is the sogeum, which is a double-reed instrument. It is similar in shape to a small flute. The instrument’s body is made of wooden conical material and is held parallel to the performer’s shoulders. The instrument has a metal mouthpiece and a cup-shaped metal cup.


Hyang-bipa is a traditional Korean instrument that originated during the Silla dynasty. It is a five stringed pipa. It was used in traditional music as well as in court music. It is plucked with bare fingers or with a plectrum. This reed instrument is a close relative to Vietnamese dan ty ba.

There are two main types of Bipa. One type is based on Chinese pipa and uses metal-nylon strings. The other uses silk and nylon strings. The modern version of Hyang Bipa is based on the Chinese Pipa frets. It is mostly influenced by Chinese Pipa techniques.

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The instrument has a reed with a diameter of about a quarter of the length of the bamboo tube. It has seven finger holes on the front and one on the back. The reed is played using the mouth. It is inserted in the mouth so that the lips press firmly on the reed above wire loops. The reed produces a deep tone.

There is a smaller version of the pipa that is called liuqin. This is a relatively small instrument that was used by nomads. It is made of 10 round copper plates held in a wooden frame. It is struck three times at the end of a musical section.

Another oboe that is popular in Korea is se-p’iri. It is similar in shape and design to hyang-p’iri. It was also brought to Korea from China during the Koryo Dynasty. It is played to accompany a masked t’alch’um folk dance. The range of se-p’iri is around two octaves.


Dang-bipa is an instrument used in traditional Korean music. It is related to Chinese pipa and Vietnamese dan ty ba. It was imported to Korea during the trade between Korea and China. The instrument was played by plucked with a plectrum. However, there are no professional musicians who can play the dang-bipa.

The modern hyang bipa is an improved version of the traditional dang-bipa. Most players use Chinese pipa techniques to play hyang bipa. This is because most of the hyang bipa string instruments have a very similar structure and shape as Chinese pipa. It also has a double-reed which is a type of oboe. The hyang bipa often carries the main melody in large ensemble works. Its range is also similar to that of the Western oboe.

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Its range is about an octave and a fifth, which makes it suitable for both high and low pitched sounds. It is one of the most popular wind instruments in Korea. It is used in a variety of folk music forms. The modern National Gugak Center of South Korea restored two of these instruments, using fake nails and silk strings.

It has a wooden frame and a rectangular wooden base. It is made with 16 strings on a set of frets. The strings are plucked with a small bamboo plectrum. Its tone is deep and usually deep. It is used in both folk and court music.


There are many different traditional Korean instruments. They are made of different materials, and they produce a range of pitches. Some are made of bamboo, and others are made of wood. These instruments are meant to protect and preserve the history of Korea.

One instrument that is used in traditional Korean music is a yanggeum. This instrument is made from bamboo. It produces a bright, clear sound. This instrument is popular with scholars. It can be played on two octaves. It is also very popular in Korean farmers’ music.

Another instrument that is found in traditional Korean music is a komungo. It is a very unique instrument. It has six strings that are plucked with a small bamboo plectrum. The string notes are held on 16 frets. It has a very deep tone. This instrument is often played in duets with other instruments.

Another instrument that is used in traditional Korean music is the saeng-hwang. It is made from bamboo tubes. Its mouthpiece is usually a gourd, but in modern times it has been made from wood. The tonal range is an octave plus a fifth. This instrument is similar to a Western harmonica.

Among the other traditional Korean instruments is a chuk. This instrument is used in the Confucian Shrine Ceremony and in the Royal Ancestral Shrine Ceremony. It is also used in the Jeongdaeop suite. It is usually played by a lead performer, who hits the chuk with an unpadded stick.


Traditional Korean instruments have a rich and varied heritage. Some of them were brought to Korea from China. Others are native to Korea, while others originated in the Chinese court. These instruments are used in a variety of musical styles and can be categorized into four groups: bamboo, metal, wood, and glass. Each instrument has its own characteristic. For example, the saeng-hwang is a mouth organ made of 17 bamboo pipes.

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There are three different types of hun: a low-pitched version, a middle-pitched version, and a high-pitched version. The low-pitched hun is shaped like a hemisphere. A middle-pitched hun is shaped in a fan shape, and the high-pitched hun is a conical bore.

The dangjok, or the hun, is a Korean clay instrument. It has a resonating sound and is able to play 12 different tones. The high-pitched dangjok can also play two octaves. It is a popular instrument among the upper class. The dangjok was a Chinese instrument, but it gradually became Koreanized after the 15th century.

Another traditional Korean instrument is the bak, or the clapper. It has been used since the Unified Shilla Dynasty. It was originally fashioned from a reed plant. It was used in native Korean works, and in the Confucian Shrine Ceremony. It is now constructed from wood.

The saeng-hwang is shaped like a wind chest. It has seventeen bamboo pipes and is played by blowing air into a hole in the wind chest at the base. It has a bright, cheery sound. It is usually played in ensemble works. It is also used in folk music.