Song Heung Rok sings "Farmer's Song"

This is some incredible Korean Pansori singing, which is a genre that started as a rural, peasant style but by the end of the Joseon period at the start of the 20th century had evolved to a popular favorite.

This is Gurye Province style Pansori singing. This song was recorded in 1891 (if I am interpreting the notes correctly) and Song had releases on Decca records and also Columbia. The sound quality is going to sound rough to your modern ears, but take a moment for them to adjust and you can appreciate the beauty of this.

The cd that this is reproduced on has notes entirely in Korean, though there is a small English section at the end. It has this wonderful line, which is maybe the best musical description I have ever heard, especially considering that music is almost impossible to write about:

"There are many vehement voices, the first utterance grave, and the end finishing clearly like the punch of a hammer. It feels like simple and tastes like vegetables."

01 Farmer's Song.mp3


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