Korean Cultural Centre offers music classes by Gugak Academy

Reham El-Adawi , Tuesday 6 Sep 2022

The Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) opened on Sunday the Gugak Academy in the Higher Institute of Arabic Music affiliated with Egypt’s Academy of Arts.

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The Gugak Academy offers an introductory course that acquaints its participants with basic skills for performing on traditional Korean music instruments further to exploring its unique rhythms.

The Gugak classes, which will be held in cooperation with the Korea’s National Gugak Centre, will run till 15 September.

Around 40 participants, including professionals, music college students and K-culture fans, will take part in the classes which will be supervised by Im Young Nam, a disciple of the Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 25 Pansori Drumming Technique and a performer at the National Gugak Centre.

 

Participants will learn how to perform on traditional Korean instruments including kkwaenggwari, (a small hand held gong that is usually made of brass), Buk (a shallow, double-headed barrel drum with a wooden body, and heads made of deer hide, horsehide or cowhide), Janggu (a double-headed hourglass-shaped drum) and Jing (a large gong usually made of brass).

"Gugak" in the Korean language refers to the traditional music that has been passed down through generations for thousands of years.

Traditional Korean music has a unique and well-developed musical personality that reflects the characteristics and musical preferences of the Korean people.

Recently, young Gugak musicians have begun to perform fusion gukak, which combines elements of traditional Korean music with modern genres.

Oh Sungho, director of the Korean Cultural Centre, said that hosting Gugak Academy this year in the prestigious Institute of Arabic Music has a great significance in the process of cultural exchange between South Korea and Egypt.

He added that South Korea and Egypt enjoy a rich history in terms of traditional music, expressing his hope that this event will result in promoting the mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.

“In light of the decline in COVID-19 infections, the KCC is enthusiastically seeking to resume its in-person events while applying precautionary measures,” Sungho said, adding that he hopes that the centre’s activities will be able to return back to its full capacity.

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