Name: Haegeum.
Type: Chordophones > Spike > Fiddles.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.313.7
Country: Korea.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The haegeum [in Hangul: 해금 haegeum] It is also popularly known as kkangkkang-i [in Hangul: 깡깡이], kkaengkkaeng-i [in Hangul: 깽깽이], or aeng-geum [in Hangul: 앵금]. As such it is a traditional bowed vertically held stringed instrument played in Korea. The haegeum is one of the most widely played instruments in Korean music. It is used n court music as well as madagnori [commoner’s or ordinary people’s music].

History: Little recorded information exists about the exact era when the haegeum was introduced into Korea. According to several sources; references to the haegeum can be found in the hanlimbyeolgok [the unrhymed verse and songs of the royal scholars] made in the Goryeo dynasty, so it can be inferred that the haegeum has been played at least since then.

The sohaegeum [소해금] is a modernized fiddle with four strings, used only in North Korea and in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China.

Construction: The haegeum is made using eight sonorous materials within the Chinese classification system of music. The materials included are metal, stone, silk, bamboo, gourd, clay, hide, and wood, and so it is called paleum [eight sounds]. The haegeum is about 70 cm in length from body to tuning pegs. Each of the two pegs are 2.5 cm diameter 11 cm in length. The sound box or body has has a surface of paulownia [Paulownia tomentosa] wood at the front. The sound box is open at the rear. The pegs have spools which access string is wound.

Citations: Bibliography: Song Hyon ed. Akhak Kwebōm [Guide To The Study Of Music] Seoul, 1943 / R1975, 7-8am9a ; Chang Sa-Hun; Han’guk akki taegwan [Korean Musical Instruments] Seoul, 1969, p 611 ; Stanley Sadie ~ New Grove Dictionary of Music Book G to O Page 116 ; Websites: Doosan Encyclopedia / Haegeum [article] Translated from Korean in Google Translate ;

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