October 02, 2022

The Music of North Korea – Pathos and Passion

The Korea Society hosted a musical event entitled “The Music of North Korea (Pathos and Passion).  The interpretations of these songs were provided by award winning zither player, Eun Sun Jung.  Her seven song set consisted of Korean folk songs from the entire peninsula and showcased her expertise on the zither, or kayagum.  Since most of the more traditional music of Korean was not supported in the North after the war, she deems this type of music “newly composed traditional music”.

Eun Sun Jung studied in Seoul National University and in 2011 was one of the artists selected for the New York Residency Program.  She has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  She also toured US colleges as part of lectureconcert production.   She is versatile on the 12, 18, and 25 string zither.  The host of the event, Dr. Ju Yong Ha, explained that North Korea also boasts having a 36 string kayagum, which he related to a harp that is played horizontally, with pedals to adjust the pitch.