Musical Autobiography Essay

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From an outsider’s point of view, how would you view your musical culture? Where would it even begin? Your life? Your parents’ life? The life before them? How would you unite these events together? Coming from a Korean background, I still continue to face this situation today. Born on December 3, 1991 at Seoul, South Korea, I was raised by my loving mother and father. It has been a tradition to celebrate the child’s first hundred days of living as well as his/her first year. These two days are known as baek-il, which means one hundred days, and dol, which is the first birthday to celebrate. On my baek-il, my family had made offerings to the birth goddess, Samshin. During this time, I was introduced to traditional, Korean music. Because one of Korea’s first religions was Buddhism, most of the traditional music in Korea embrace the concept of Buddhism. Traditional music and folk music consist of various instruments, such as the “kayagum, a 12-string zither, yanggum, a Korean-style dulcimer, baegum, a two-string fiddle without a fingerboard, piri, a cylindrical oboe, and changgo, an hourglass drum” (Culture, 1993). Baek-Il is celebrated to give thanks to Samshin and to pray for wealth, longevity, and original luck. Along with Baek-Il came my first birthday, dol. On this day again, I was acquainted with some traditional music as well as traditional, celebration songs. One of these celebration songs is known as Arirang. Arirang is played with various types of instruments and there are many genre of the song that requires different instruments to fit the situation. It became a very popular traditional song that still holds to this day. Because of such early exposure to my country’s traditional music, I was aware of my cultural, musical background at a very young age. From the day that I could remember, we had a piano in the house. My mother started practicing the

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