Traditional music often has been overlooked by more popular strands of music over time. Still, classical music of different sorts has been important to the history of music, and this album is no different. Is it worth hearing though? Let’s dive in and have a listen.
We begin with Cheong Don, which is a lovely sounding piece, introducing us to the world of South Korea. It’s a nice way to introduce the album, and for Asian culture fans, definitely worth hearing. Good stuff.
Next is Bibimbob, a slower yet still beautiful piece. It’ll literally take you to another place, out of this world. Short and sweet, yet definitely worth hearing for those who enjoy this music.
Seoul Tower sounds almost middle eastern. Eerily so. It continues using the suspenseful instrumentation as before, yet sounds very Korean. A nice piece, once again, short. Not so short that it is unforgettable though. The playing here is spot on, precise and unique.
Lotus Festival comes next. It continues the theme of the previous piece, whilst progressing on gently. The playing here is very rhythmic and definitely worth hearing. It sounds more laidback and melodic than most traditional Chinese music, so it is a must-listen for those who enjoy this music.
The next piece, Dragon Heart, is definitely Asian. It sounds more upbeat and melodic, but this really is underrated, and very very good. The dragon is a mythical creature in Asian culture, so it’s cool all the same. Nice music here.
Following is The Blue House, and it sounds just like a well made and interesting piece. Most of the music on this album is really short for track length but certainly sounds out of this world. Such a nice thing to hear, and beautiful too.
Korean Folk Melody sounds very middle eastern, once again. If this is a great representation of the music of South Korea, at least in a traditional sense, we are blown away here. It’s melodic, suspenseful and overall, never boring.
Jongno is next. It’s a more straightforward piece here, but relaxing too. It is image evoking, something which is incredibly rare in the world of music. For those with a diverse mind, this album is definitely for you.
The next piece continues our theme. Korean Children’s Day is joyous and upbeat, a nice slice of Asian goodness. It is something that could be used as a lullaby. It is awesome and great to hear.
Up next is Lotus Blossom. The lotus is a beautiful flower, for those who are not aware of what that is. It’s short, simple and definitively Asian. Great to hear such wonderful music here.
Itaewon is another pleasant sounding piece. It will take your mind to other places. By this point of the album, we are far away in distant lands. A unique and listenable piece for sure, never a dull moment here.
Fan Dance returns to the semi-Middle Eastern sound but is very Korean. Although the name makes us unsure of where we are, it’s still short and a quality product here. Nice stuff.
The following piece Insa-Dong is so short and good, need we say more at this point? It’s absolute must hearing this album, and definitely worth your time.
Following is Buddhist Melody. Buddism is very prevalent in Asia, not just South Korea. It’s a glorious listen, without any chanting. Very good to hear this piece of melodic work. It’s only a minute or so long, listen and enjoy.
Good Blessing Of The New Year comes next. It utilises the unusual Korean melodies, once again. It’s subtle and strange but does not stop it from fitting in here. South Korea must be a great place to visit for this sort of traditional music. Excellent.
Dim Sum refers to the Asian dish, which is delicious. This song is as well, it’s a great piece to hear, ideally in the background of a restaurant setting. Lovely and simple, the way music should be.
After that, The West Wind arrives. It’s got more complex playing here and sounds colourful and optimistic. This album is proof that you don’t need repetition to make music great, it is just great on its own. Beautiful music.
Next is From The Mountain, possibly referring to a Korean historical notion. It utilises unusual notes and is spot on in delivery. This music is mind-blowingly good, simple and understated.
Kahmsanmida (which means thank you in Korean) comes next. Literally, we have to thank the people who made this music at this point, not vice versa. It’s great traditional music. Gentle and subtle listening. It ends gently as well.
Kim Chi is a popular Korean dish. It also is once again, a good piece here. The beautiful string plucking at hand is just gorgeous, and nice to hear. Beautiful music.
Next is The Monk’s Blessing, once again, referring to the tradition of Buddhism. It almost is song-like in its melodic approach. Such a beautiful number, and worth hearing too. It’s still under two minutes here, which means the slow and rhythmic melody isn’t irritating. A great representation of Korea and its music.
After that, we have All Time Future And Past. One could think that this indicates Christianity, but it actually does not. It may indicate Korea’s importance in the world or the world of music. It sounds hopeful and stuff which is unusual to westerners in general, but it is really great music.
Morning Fog sounds unusual, once again. It is a mystical and wonderful instrumental piece. It sounds a little eerie, only adding to the suspense in this album recording. Magical.
Namdaemum Gate takes the melody back to optimism. Little is known or recognised about music like this in western countries. However, this album easily rejects that idea and is so broad and interesting in approach, one can forgive that notion. It’s brilliant.
Following that, we have Mount Pukhansan, a nice traditional piece which has flowing instrumentation. It sounds beautiful and unique, something which most other forms of music lack. You can hear the precision and colour in the playing of notes, it’s mint.
Next is Baeukundae which combines rhythm and melody in a Korean music structure perfectly. Great stuff, and brings a smile to one’s face. It rips apart the idea of selling out for music. Why bother? This is just as good here.
Bongeunsa Temple is a string and flute section, which is completely different from the one-minute songs before it. It runs for three minutes, yet is not exactly long for a traditional piece. It is soothing and relaxing and shows the power of music. Even without drums or percussion, this piece is breathtakingly good.
Incheon brings the wind instrument back for two minutes of deep Asian melody. It is soul touching, and wonderful, suggesting a world that westerners do not really know. A good listen here.
Next is Masatake, which has guitar playing and the wind instrument again. It’s just wow, what a nice piece! It is never dull for a moment, and will surely make you want to delve more into Korean culture deeply. Subtle.
Up next is Keijo which sounds glorious with a repeating melody. It could be hummed whilst you go about your day, such a nice and beautiful sounding piece. It confirms the greatness of this song, and the album as well.
Children’s Story is a straightforward and melodic flute sounding instrument based piece, on its own. It is a very precise, and good, piece of melodic soloing. Nice.
Korean Traditional Melody is next, staying true to the title of the piece. It has a good combination of rhythm and melody in the wind instrument piece that we have here. An outstanding representation of Korean music. It changes key halfway through, a nice touch.
Next is a piano piece. One of Japanese Melodies is just that. After all, the Japanese do play a part in Korea’s history. It’s fairly straightforward stuff here, but soothing musically. A nice change. It’s barely over two minutes, a good length for such a piece.
After that, we arrive at Korean and Chinese Song, which has the piano and wind instrument again. China also plays its part in Korea’s history, and this piece acknowledges that. Still, it sounds really good here. Nice and gentle.
Song of Seoul has bongo beats and a much more rhythmic wind instrument melody. It’s a great piece to get your head nodding, and proof that this album will surprise you. These beats should be sampled and used on a good EDM track if they have not been done so already. It’s effective and good.
Hello and Goodbye enters keyboards into the scene. It’s laid back and very nice to hear. A good thing to listen to, when the mood desires for wind instruments and keyboards. Good stuff. It’s still under three minutes here. The fade-out is epic.
Next is Ye, Anyo, Ye. No, it’s not a Kanye West reference, it is a lone wind instrument piece. It sounds sad and beautiful and sounds very much like one of the main melodies of Pink Floyd’s first half of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Yes, it does. But it’s still really very good.
Following is Korean Love Song. It’s another short wind instrument piece. It’s actually more evoking of curiousity than love, but yes, it is still quality, as is the rest of this album. Once again, the melody sounds rather familiar.
Korean Shakuhachi is a more rhythm-based wind instrument melody. But it does the job nicely. Good to hear this sort of thing towards the end of this wonderful journey through traditional Korean music.
Triumph of Spirit is the final piece on this album. It has the wind instrument, piano and bongo beats. It’s a nice way to end this wonderful and satisfying trip through Asian music, hard to find, yet unforgettable.
This recording is, by far, the perfect introduction to traditional Korean music. If you have a crave or curiousity for this sort of music, look no further. It’s an excellent listen, and worth adding to your collection.