Korea's Gugak Academy concludes its music classes in Cairo

Ahram Online , Saturday 17 Sep 2022

The Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) in Egypt held a work presentation to celebrate the end of the ‘2022 Overseas Korean Traditional Music School’ at the Egyptian Academy of Arts on Thursday.

Graduates Wear traditional performance clothes and perform on stage during the closing ceremony.


The course was prepared to promote the excellence of Korean traditional music in Egypt, where K-pop is the main focus of Hallyu fans, and to foster self-reliance.

As part of the National Gugak Globalization Project of the National Gugak Centre, the overseas Gugak Culture School invited Im Young Nam, a member of the National Gugak Centre Folk Orchestra Yeonhui Club, as a lecturer.

The course was held for two weeks from 4 September by selecting a total of 40 people who were interested in Korean culture and Korean traditional music and Arab music majors.

In the two weeks, the Gugak Academy offered an introductory course that acquaints its participants with basic skills in performing with traditional Korean music instruments and exploring its unique rhythms.

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

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

At the closing ceremony, all the graduates wore traditional performance clothes and demonstrated the skills they had learned so far. In addition to the exciting performances of Seoljanggu and Samulnori, Lim Yongnam and Eo Bowon performed Seoljanggu and folk songs to show off the beauty of Korean traditional music.

In addition, Arab music professors and majors, who are graduates of this course, performed traditional Arabic music and presented a special stage where Korean and Egyptian traditional music were harmonised.

The 22-year-old Rahma Mohamed, a graduate of the Korean language department at Ein Shams University in Cairo, who completed this course, said, “For the past two weeks, I have been listening to Janggu classes directly from experts and making sounds together with the students as time goes by. It was an amazing experience. At this ceremony, I took the lead of Seol Janggu’s performance team, and it was a lot of pressure, but I am happy that the performance ended well.”

Seong-Ho Oh, director of the KCC, mentioned that after the end of the course at the Gugak Culture School, the plan is to promote the regularisation of Samulnori gatherings so that the Korean Wave can be self-sufficient in Egypt.

In addition, he said that it would provide Egyptian people with opportunities to experience various cultures by opening cultural lectures that cross both modernity and tradition.

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