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195 – Royal Court Music 10: 큰절 (Keunjeol)

July 17, 2011

Part ten of the ‘Sound of Heaven, Music of King Sejong’ concert at Gyeongbokgung Palace on May 28th.  At this point, the banquet is over, and it is time for the royal subjects to offer a 큰절 (Keunjeol, or ‘big bow’) to the king before they are ushered out.  The female voice is instructing the subjects to rise, and bow down and up four times.  Even today, people in a Korean home bow to their elders and respected ones three times on 설날 (Seollal, ‘the Lunar New Year’), so I’m guessing the forth one was added in to show greater respect, since he was a king and all. (195 – Keunjeol)

Recorded 5/28/11, 5:04PM (local time)

*You can hear the rest of the concert here.

**Thanks to my good friend, Ian, for letting me steal his photo.  He went to the performance the day after I did and was able to get a lot more varied pictures than I could.  I’m the sure the picture doesn’t align 100% with the music, but at least it gives a better sense of what the entire ceremony was like.

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