Name: Daegeum.
Type: Transverse Flute > Aerophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.11
Country: Korea.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The daegeum [in Hangul: 금 In Hancha: 大笒] also spelled taegum, daegum or taegŭm is a large bamboo transverse flute.. It has a buzzing membrane that gives it a special timbre. It is used in traditional Korean music, court, aristocratic music, contemporary classical music and in film scores.

The three transverse flutes are together are known as samjuk [in hangul: 삼죽: in hanja: 三竹]. Smaller flutes in the same family include the junggeum [in Hangul: 중금 in Hanja: 中笒] and the sogeum [in Hangul: 삼죽 in Hanja: 三竹] literally three  bamboo in translation]. As they are the three flutes from the Silla period.

Origins: According to Korean folklore, the daegeum is said to have been invented in 681 when King Sinmun of Silla was informed by Park Sun Jung, his caretaker the ocean [海官] that a small island was floating towards a Buddhist temple in the East Sea.

The king ordered his caretaker of the sun to test whether this was good luck. The caretaker replied that a dead king who turned into a sea dragon. And two great warriors are giving a gift to protect Silla.

If the king were to visit the sea, he would receive a priceless gift. The king soon sent a person to look for the gift. The person replied that a bamboo tree on the top of the island becomes two in the morning and one in the night. On the next day, the world shook and it rained and wind blew, and the world was thrown into darkness for a week.

When the king went to the island himself, a dragon appeared and told him that if the bamboo on the top of the island was cut down, made into a flute, and blown, the country would be peaceful. The king cut down the tree, and the flute made from the bamboo was called Man Pa Sik Juk [萬波息笛].

In 1971 the solo performance called Daegeum Sanjo was pronounced as an Important Intangible Cultural Property by the Cultural Heritage Administration.


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