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A unique spectacle by Jongmyo Jeryeak

Jongmyo Jeryeakis considered today to be the most important masterwork of Korean traditional music. Completed in the fifteenth century, it combines the ancient ritual music of East Asia with the traditional music of Korea.

It is a unique spectacle, combining instrumental music, song (akjang) and dance (ilmu), following a strict procedure. Jongmyo Jerye is the title of a ceremony in which the king performs religious rites designed to ensure peace for the country and its people. During the ceremony, two orchestras, Deung-ga and Heon-ga, are placed outside the main building, Jeongjeon: one on the terrace, the other in the courtyard, on the far side; the orchestras perform in alternation. In Jongmyo Jeryeak, the musicians are all gathered together, to generate a more sonorous sound. The indoor performance, in a hall with fine acoustics, allows the audience to relish the delicate melodies and tones which are not always easy to appreciate in outdoor performances. Jongmyo Jeryeak presents a special arrangement of the ritual music, in the solemn atmosphere of the Confucian rituals.

The National Gugak Center is the center for Korean classical performing arts. As a national institution, it was first established as Emseongseo, during in the Shilla dynasty, (seventh century), subsequently becoming the Daeakseo of the Goryeo dynasty (late tenth century) and Jangakwon of the Joseon dynasty (1466). It takes care to preserve a wide range of cultural and artistic heritage, including court and folk music and dances that have been transmitted for a long time, as well as modern music composed for present-day audiences.

This event is co-hosted by the Korean Cultural Centre in Warsaw.

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