Kayakum

 

Kayagum Byongchang

Kayakum Byongchang (Elegance)


 The kayakum is a twelve-stringed zither.  It was first used in the sixth century. It is made of a long rectangular piece of wood. On top 12 strings
of twisted silk stretch across a series of bridges, much like a violin or cello, only a lot more. The instrument is played in a sitting position. Sounds are made by plucking and flicking the strings with the fingers of the right hand. The left hand presses down on the strings to the left of the movable bridges.
The Kayagkum is said to have been invented by King Kashil of the Kaya Kingdom around 560 AD, and maestro Uruk composed music for it. The materials used are identical as the case of the Keomungo. Its length is 164 centimeters, and its width, 26 centimeters, and it has a dozen strings with different thickness.
The player places it on his right knee, plays on, or plucks with his right-hand fingers, while pressing the strings with his left-hand fingers.
The Kayakum is divided into two kinds:"Elegance" (Byongchang) type and "Solo"  (Sanjo) type, but the structure is basically the name, except that their sizes are slightly different.
The sound the Kayakum produces is clear and graceful, and so, it is used widely for solo, accompaniment or ensemble.


Kayakum