It Is Not About a K-Pop, It’s Not Just About a Music, It Is Unique, It Is Noreum Machi

Written by on October 21, 2013 in Arts, Special Report

“It is not about a K-Pop, it’s not just about a music, it is unique, it is Noreum Machi” (my quotes for Noreum Machi)

Founded in 1993, Noreum Machi as recoqnized as “New Wave Korean Music Group” is a Korean traditional musical and future-oriented ensemble that search for harmony with modern musical trends and adding Korean traditions on their performance. The name of Noreum Machi comes from the jargon of Korean minstrels, a combination of skill and timing attained only by the best players.

With five members, Noreum Machi has introduced Korean traditional musical performance with innovative concept either in their own country and overseas. Counting since previous years, they have many overseas touring around the world in some festivals such as Canada, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia including Indonesia.

“Harmonious concept is not just about a performance itself. It’s about a chemistry and communication between the audiences and performers has been connected each other” (my quotes for Noreum Machi)



This is the second time I have been watched Noreum Machi’s performance in Indonesia. This year, Noreum Machi came as a delegation from South Korea in Solo International Performing Arts 2013 in Solo City, Central Java, Indonesia.

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Pict 1 – 7 : Noreum Machi performances (2 days performances) in Solo International Performing Arts 2013, Solo City, Central Java, Indonesia. Noreum Machi got highly appreciation from the audiences (approximately more than 3000 people) on this festival. They also categorized as the most favorite group from overseas.

Some of Korean traditional musical instruments that they are playing are :

장고 Janggu.

Janggu is the hourglass drum shape, can be played seated, standing, even by dancing. The favored wood for the instrument’s body is paulownia, a light but strong tree. Willow or walnut are two alternative woods that have been used. Each side is covered with leather. The left side is covered with a cow leather or a thick horse leather which produces a low tones and the other side is covered by a thinner horse leather which produces a clearer and higher tones.

꽹과리 Kkwaenggwari.

This musical instrument is similar with a  small gong. The instrument player holds this small size gong with his or her hand and hit the gong with a wooden stick. It is used in shaman ritual music, pungmul and samulnori.

북 Buk.

It is also a drum with leather skin on both sides and is played by a wooden stick. This instrument usually play in pansori.

징 Jing.

Jing is a large gong made from brass and is one of native Korean musical instrument. Although originally used for military music now it is usually use in music for royal processions, shaman ritual music or Buddhist music.

Jing is held with the left hand suspended by a chord running through two holes at the top and played with the right hand.

태평소 Taepyeongso.

Taepyongso is a Korean horn is about 40 centimeters long and is made by removing the core from a piece of hard wood like a long pipe and joining a brass funnel-shaped tube and a brass mouthpiece onto opposite ends of the pipe. It is played by inserting a seo, a loneg slender reed, into the blowhole, holding the pipe straight out from the mouth with two hands, and fingering the eight holes like a piri. Taepyeongso has the widest range of octaves of all Korean musical instruments. In particular, it can reach notes a full octave higher than any other instrument. With the sounds and high tone, Taepyeongso can create a cheerful atmosphere in the composition.

피리 Piri.

Piri is a cylindrical oboe is a double-reed end-blown wind instrument or can be categorized as an aerophones instrument. It is containing with eight finger holes, seven infront and one in the rear.

Noreum Machi has every aspects of performance which are mixed together into an interesting and entertaining performance. Playing Korean musical instruments while singing and dancing. They usually start from lower beat then coming to the upper beat, step by step. Also they involved the audiences to feel of what they feel together. Audiences would be as part of their performance in one harmonious atmosphere. Not only on the stage, their low profile down to earth and friendly feature make them closer to the people surrounding them.


Pict 1 : Noreum Machi behind the stage after performing in Solo International Performing Arts 2013, Solo City Center Java, Indonesia. Left to right : Lee Ho Won, Kim Yong Jun, Oh Hyun Ju, Kim Ju Hong (Artistic Director), Kim Thae Ho. 

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Pict 2 & 3 : The interactions between Noreum Machi and local people after rehearsal at Solo International Performing Arts 2013, Solo City, Center Java, Indonesia.



Pict 4 : I have got  Janggu usb souvenir from Noreum Machi. Thank you Noreum Machi ^^


To commemorate their 20th year anniversary, they will held an anniversary concert in Seoul on October 5th, 2013

More info for the concert can be accessed on these link below :

National Theater of Korea :


Noreum Machi member :

Kim Ju Hong (Artistic Director)


Oh Hyun Ju (Janggu, Kkwaengwari, Jing, Taepyeongso, Chorus)


Lee Ho Won (Janggu, Kkwaenggwari, Jing, Chorus)


Kim Yong Jun (Taepyeongso, Piri, Chorus)


Kim Thae Ho (Buk, Kkwaenggwari, Chorus)


Reported by Maria Margareta
Photos by Maria Margareta

About the Author

Maria Margareta

Maria Margareta, a blog writer who has deeply love about Korean Culture. My mission is to spread Korean culture to the world.