Chun Shin Yun, director of Higashiosaka Korean Middle School Band, commissioned this arrangement to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the band’s membership in the Osaka Prefecture All Japan Band Association. It was premiered in May 2003 at “Brass Expo 2003” by Kansai Korean Gakuen Junior High Joint Band.
The piece opens with Akatonbo, then introduces the song Arirang. Significant about this arrangement is its use of traditional Korean folk rhythms. The Arirang melody is accompanied by “Chang Dan of Chung Mori”, a 12/8 rhythm pattern characterized by an accented 9th beat. In this particular work, the pattern is expressed within 4 bars of 3/4 time. After a transitional section, the Akatonbo melody appears again in an arranged “Chang Dan of Pan Sar Puri” rhythm. This is a typically fast ternary rhythm with an accent behind the 2nd beat. Here a syncopated “Chang Dan of Pan Sar Puri” is adapted to the wind band, all in this unique opportunity to experience colorful Korean folk song traditions.
Following detailed research by a late 19th century American musicologist, the original Arirang folk song is now known to have possessed a variety of melodies and rhythms throughout the Korean peninsula. The melody used in this work is the most famous amongst them. It is further celebrated in the John Barnes Chance (1932-1972) wind band work Variations on a Korean Folk Song (1965).
On the other hand, Akatonbo was composed by Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965) for the 1927 poetry of Rofu Miki (1889-1964) reflecting upon his childhood memories. This deeply nostalgic music is considered to be one of Japan’s most beloved and famous folk songs.
A. Sax. 1&2
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