For preserving timbre peculiar to okryugum

Students learn various skills of okryugum playing.

Okryugum, which was invented in the early 1970s in the DPRK, is a national musical instrument which was made by improving wagonghu, an old musical instrument of Korea.

It consists of the rhomboid-trapezoidal sound box and legs supporting it.

There is a round sound hole and 34 strings on the sound box.

The instrument is designed to sharp or flat any note by dint of a modulating device connected to a pedal.

There are a variety of interpretations, notably plucking, thrumming and tremolo played in the left part of the bridges.

Okryugum, which was named thus as it produces clear sound like gem, has beautiful sound and rich sound volume and can make reverberation,” said Kim Suk Yong, lecturer at Pyongyang Kim Won Gyun University of Music.

According to her, the university has conducted education by focusing on carrying on and enriching the tradition of national music and produced lots of talented okryugum players.

She strives to make students preserve the tone quality peculiar to the instrument with a deep understanding of it, rich musical sensibility and flexible and graceful posture of performance.

Her students were highly appreciated at the recent artistry presentation held at the university by playing okryugum solo and ensemble superbly.

“According to the playing methods and the position of plucking the strings, the instrument produces the sound similar to harp, kayagum and guitar and such sounds harmonize with each other to make gemlike sound.

“Its beautiful timbre is very moving and stirring and it is my dream to be an excellent okryugum player,” said student Hwang Ye Jong.