We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Pansori?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Musical Expert is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Musical Expert, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pansori is a form of Korean music which has been classified as a National Cultural Intangible Property by the Korean government, in the interest of preserving it for future generations. Pansori performances take place at Korean cultural festivals, in addition to being scheduled as events in their own right, and numerous recordings of such performances are available for people who want to listen to or study pansori. The Korean government believes that pansori is a very important part of Korea's national heritage, and there is some concern that the art of pansori could die out due to lack of interest.

In a pansori performance, there are two performers: the gosu and the kwangdae. The gosu is a drummer, who accompanies the kwangdae, or singer. In more modernized performances, sometimes several singers perform, voicing different characters in the piece to provide more color. The audience is also an integral part of the pansori, as they are expected to respond with sounds of encouragement and applause at various points in the performance.

Pansori performances are classically quite long, with the music being used to tell a traditional Korean folktale. A full madang or story can take hours to perform, so modern pansori performances are often offered in sections so that audiences do not get restless. During the performance, the audience can hear singing and stylized speech, along with the sounds of the drum and chuimsae, sounds which are made by the gosu as the singer performs. The audience can also respond with chuimsae of its own.

These epic sung folktales have their roots in the 1600s, and they became especially popular in the 1800s. By the 1960s, however, pansori had begun to die out in Korea. The training involved is grueling, as are the performances themselves, and interest appeared to be dwindling. In response, the government attempted to protect and promote this traditional art form, encouraging pansori performers to interact with the public in the hopes of exciting the next generation.

At any given time, several pansori performers typically have a very visible public profile, becoming stars in the genre, and an assortment of up and coming performers is typically in training. Thanks to the government's measures to protect pansori, pansori performers and trainees often receive generous government assistance, including grants to sponsor performances and other events which promote the pansori tradition.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Musical Expert researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.