Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Gayageum

Gyu-won is an expert at playing an instrument that I have never heard of before, much less know how to pronounce.

So I wanted to know more about the Gayageum. The history, how hard it is to play and if Park Min Ha really knows how to play it or not.

So lets learn.... Come on. I promise this post will NOT be wordy.

The Gayageum is a traditional Korean instrument, rumored to have been created sometime in the first century. Before recent findings, legend has it that a King Gashil ordered a member of his court to create the instrument after hearing an old Chinese instrument.

It has 12 strings but can be completely customized to have up to 21 strings. It is constructed of Paulownia wood. Which is tree that can only be found in Laos, Vietnam and China. Traditionally the strings were made of silk. Nowadays, the strings are made from nylon, steel and sometimes even copper to produce a better sound.
The Gayageum is roughly 63 inches long, 12 inches wide and about 4 inches thick (the originals were in cm so bare with me).
For a size comparison:
I am 5'5" or 65 inches tall. 
I am shorter than a refrigerator but can reach most cabinets easily.

12 inches is a Subway footlong...
Unless you believe the hype... and miss that extra inch.

And four inches is the size roughly the size of the width of a human hand. 
With fingers closed though.

So does she really know how to play?

Well sort of... I discovered that Park Shin Ha did not know how to play this instrument before the series. She hired a tutor and learned. Talk about commitment. In most of the articles she says she still practices every once in a while, because she really likes the  sound of the instrument.

Let's see those studies put to work shall we. 

And here are some awesome videos of an expert at the Gayageum playing some modern hits. I have to admit I am very, very impressed. I mean, I can't even play a kazoo.

Meet Luna! She's awesome.
Luna playing some Jimi Hendrix
A little Craig David

See told you it wouldn't be so bad. We learned.
Be quiet Dr. Evil!

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