ISSN : 1229-0076
This paper examines the trend of performing and enjoying the major pieces of gagok, a genre of sijo poems sung to the tunes of “Mandaeyeop,” “Jungdaeyeop,” and “Sakdaeyeop.” The three songs employ a slow, a moderate, and a fast tempo respectively. Together, the three established the tripartite framework of the gagok repertoire. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, people loved the various songs which had been passed along even up till now. In the sixteenth century, in the literati tradition of learning to play the geomungo, “Mandaeyeop” was performed with the geomungo. This can be evidenced in books of geomungo scores compiled by literati, such as Hyeongeum dongmun yugi (1620) and Geumhapjabo (1572). The seventeenth century saw major social and economic changes with the emergence of the jungin class. The professional singers from this new class sang “Jungdaeyeop” and “Sakdaeyeop” which led to the development of gagok performance culture. Since the seventeenth century, the literati, geomungo musicians, and professional singers have been the main players in performing the gagok genre. They took a scholarly interest in learning and playing the geomungo. They loved “Jungdaeyeop,” composed sijo poems, and compiled geomungo scores. Geomungo musicians composed new songs which were primarily derived from “Jungdaeyeop” and “Sakdaeyeop.” The major musicians were Kim Seonggi and Han Rip. Professional singers also composed new songs as they associated with geomungo musicians. Kim Cheontaek was a prominent singer and published Cheonggu yeongeon in 1728. The work is a compilation of 580 songs which were in circulation and sung at that time. Since the early eighteenth century, professional singers have created and sung many derivative songs of “Sakdaeyeop.” The form of the gagok ensemble was also established. The gagok was now sung accompanied by wind and string instruments in a professional singers’ club. Since the early nineteenth century, the present form of a full gagok cycle composed of derivative songs of “Sakdaeyeop” has been taken shape.