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This article’s lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Music of North Korea is heavily influenced by the political situation in the country. Many songs are related to the North Korean cult of personality. The characteristic march like, upbeat music of North Korea is carefully composed, rarely individually performed, and its lyrics and imagery have a clear optimistic content.
Germany, are popular in North Korea. Under Kim Il-sung’s era, only ideologically correct music was allowed. Jazz in particular was considered out of bounds. Many artists however found their way around these limitations by writing ideologically correct lyrics while taking liberties with the score.
Under Kim Jong-il, previously forbidden genres, even jazz, became permissible and encouraged. Many North Korean pop songs are usually performed by a young female singer with an electric ensemble, percussionist, and accompanying singers and dancers. North Korean poet Cho Ki-chon—have become popular in South Korea. Songs like “We Are One” and “Reunification Rainbow” sing of the hopes for Korean reunification.
In 2012, North Korea’s first girl band, the Moranbong Band, made its world debut. North Korean pop music is available for visitors to Pyongyang at the Koryo Hotel or Number One Department Store. Some religious or original folk music may still exist in North Korea, but reliable sources are absent in the West. Like Korean music in general, North Korean music includes kinds of both folk and classical, courtly music, including genres like sanjo, pansori, and nongak. Pansori is long vocal and percussive music played by one singer and one drummer.
In North Korea, traditional instruments have been adapted in order to allow them to compete with Western instruments. The modern Ongnyugeum zithers and the Sohaegeum four stringed fiddle are North Korean modernized versions of traditional Korean musical instruments, both used in traditional and modern musical forms. Military music, in contrast, often makes extensive use of Western brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments, often omitting the Korean ones entirely. Although usually original compositions, the melodies are not easily distinguishable from Western ones in the absence of their lyrics, which heavily feature the customary ideologically oriented content.
World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. The good things in North Korea”. Cho Ki-ch’ŏn: The Person Behind the Myths”. Provine, Rob, Hwang, Okon and Kershaw, Andy. Our Life Is Precisely a Song”. North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, pp 160-169. Wangjaesan Light Music Band, “The General Uses Warp.