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Fill your soul with South Korea’s music during your travel experience

Fill your soul with South Korea’s music during your travel experience ( Maybe you want to bring some CDs home for friends, or you would like an ethnic instrument to display as a conversation piece and occasional attention-getter in your living room. Or maybe you just want to sing your heart out as you consume soju on a wild night.

You may find yourself surrounded by the bubble-gum strains of K-pop, as Korean pop music is known, in many places. It may entertain you and lift up your spirits, or it may be too sweet for your taste as you travel around and look for a more “authentic” experience. Careful, though: K-pop is a big part of modern Korea, and it has been evolving along with the rest of the country for over two decades.

K-pop has spread across Asia and even across the ocean, with major K-pop concerts coming to the Los Angeles Coliseum in spring 2014 and K-pop shows, digital releases, and merchandise sales outside Korea skyrocketing into the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue (above $200 million in K-pop exports to Japan alone in 2011!). You may find yourself dancing in your bedroom or singing catchy K-pop melodies long after your trip to Korea, once K-pop gets its hooks in you!

An ancient culture also carries ancient melodies, of course. Pansori is one example of Korean classical music that has a sonic flavor that echoes kimchi: It’s substantial but has a unique edge, featuring male singing that seem to stretch and scrape along the vocal chords, punctuated by loud, flat drum sounds. All Korean classical music holds to a standard set of forms known as jangdan, but there is room for improvisation and audience engagement to complement the sounds. You can hear pansori at the National Theatre of Korea or hear regional varieties of Korean traditional music wherever you stay around the country.

MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Moorefield, Office: 719-471-0222, Fax: 719-471-2599,

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