For a really long time, there was an inevitable divide separating Korean folk and classical music from K-Pop. Both had their own unique audiences, usually uninterested in the other. But in recent years, these two worlds have collided often, offering the world the gift of beautiful songs.
Here are five K-pop songs that used different elements of traditional Korean music and blended them with modern style perfectly:
1. “Pink Venom”-BLACKPINK
BLACKPINK’s latest single “Pink Venom” is making a lot of noise for several reasons. The music video is full of many charming frames but perhaps the most captivating one is the opening shot where Jisoo is seen playing Geomungo, a traditional Korean instrument. Jisoo even received proper lessons to perfect her performance on screen while playing the instrument!
2.”Daechwita”- BTS SUGA
There are many BTS songs where the group has used traditional Korean music instrumentation but Suga went a step ahead and included a real Daechwita at the beginning of his song “Daechwita” from D-2. Daechwita refers to a type of traditional Korean military music that was played during marching or to announce the arrival of the King.
The piri is a Korean double-reeded flute that is used heavily in both folk and classical music. Dreamcatcher’s song “Piri” used an instrumental refrain of the Korean piri seamlessly with an electric guitar, creating an impressive fusion.
4. “Hanryang”- Min Kyung Hoon, Kim Hee Chul, feat. BIBI
Produced by DinDin, the track of “Hanryang” mixes traditional Korean beat with elements of hip hop. The concept behind the entire song was to take hip hop back to the Joseon era. The music video also featured a star-studded cast of Super Junior’s Heechul, Min Kyung Hoon, BIBI, and Ateez donned in traditional hanboks against a historical backdrop of the Korean folk village.
5. “I’m A B”- MAMAMOO Hwasa
This unassuming pop track took audiences aback with a very folk-sounding instrumental interlude played on the geomungo. The visuals in he music video make this part even more enchanting with dancers breaking into smooth contemporary moves.
한복까지 차려입고 기깔나게 댄브하는 안혜진 너무 멋있잖아,,,,,🥲 pic.twitter.com/RH1XhtzY3L
— 강화석 (@Kang__Q) April 22, 2022
Ever since K-Pop started getting more and more global exposure, many artists have made creative efforts to include traditional elements into their music and proudly shared their culture with international fans.