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Integration and Variation of Traditional Korean Music Genres in mask play(Talchum)

Integration and variation of traditional Korean music genres in different mask plays, influencing their unique musical characteristics

In mask play, songs with various musical characteristics are sung throughout the performance.

The songs consist mainly of Sijo, Pansori, Sadangpaesori, Shaman song and Gasa. These songs may borrow melodies from existing songs as they are, or borrow only the characteristics of the genre. This phenomenon is deeply related to the function of the songs in the play.

In the process of music composition, each types of mask play shows different characteristics in the music genre it borrows. From this point of view, the musical characteristics of each mask play can be distinguished. Listed by mask play, Yangju-Byeolsandaenori mainly borrowed from Gasa, Gangnyeong-Talchum, Goseong-Ogwangdae, and Tongyeong- Ogwangdae mainly borrowed from Pansori, and Suyeongyaryu mainly used Sadangpaesori. In particular, Bongsan-Talchum was composed comprehensively by integrating all the aforementioned musical genres. This music composition method is presumed to have influenced the composition of a specific scene as well.

The fact that each mask play had a preferred traditional song type is also confirmed in the songs sung by the performers who create melodies in editorials that fit the dramatic content. In other words, although no direct correlation can be found in the lyrics, it is based on the fact that songs with musical characteristics corresponding to Gasa style songs are identified in Yangju-Byeolsandaenori and this musical composition is the same for other mask play. The reason that there was a specific genre of Korean traditional music that each mask play intended to borrow is probably because it coincided with the musical usage of the mask play story line. Or it may be because there is a musical element that helps the audience to react and understand play.

And by borrowing different song genres from each mask play, the musical characteristics of each mask play were different. In other words, in the process of accommodating existing songs, Korean mask play can be divided into a type that selectively selects existing music genres such as Gasa, Pansori, and Sadangpaesori, and a type that accepts all types of songs. Bongsan-Talchum is a case in which existing music song genres are integrated throughout the play. Except for Bongsan-Talchum, Yangju-Byeolsandaenori, Gangnyeong-Talchum, Goseong–Ogwangdae, Tongyeong-Ogwangdae, and Suyeongyaryu are took the way of choosing specific types from the existing songs such as Gasa, Pansori, Sijo, Sadangpaesori, etc. The music composition method of the mask play, which used to select a specific song type in this way, has become a musical characteristics of each mask play.

sourse: Hyejung IM, Types of Songs in Mask Play and Musical Characteristics, The Journal of the Korea National Academy of Arts, vol 61, 2022, The National Academy of Arts of the Republic of Korea, 126~127
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