[KS] Korean vocalizing

Jonathan Kramer jonathan_kramer at ncsu.edu
Thu Jul 29 08:30:45 EDT 2010

This sounds like "it."  Thanks!  jk

Jonathan C. Kramer, Ph.D.
Dept. of Music
Box 7311, NCSU
Raleigh, NC  27695
919-515-4204 (fax)
>>> David Mason <mntnwolf at yahoo.com> 07/29/10 7:03 AM >>>
Dear Dr. Kramer,
If what you heard was the more like shouting as you said, not singing, then I think what you are referring to is the longtime (but I mean just 20th century origin)  Korean custom of shouting "Yaaahhhh-hooooo" as loudly as possible from the peaks or cliff-tops of mountains.  Not sure how this started, possibly an imitation of what they imagined were European alpine customs?  There is some loose combination of beliefs that this is a health-enhancing thing for a person to do, and also a proper way to announce one's triumph of having conquered a crag.  There's no special name for it, it's just called "doing yah-ho".
But it was pervasively common by at least the 1980s.  By this decade it became noticed as an ecological problem, and the National Parks Authority and other more local authorities began putting up signs asking hikers to not do this, because it disturbs the nesting birds and some of the animals, disrupts their normal patterns.  From what I've seen in my frequent hiking, plenty of Koreans are still doing it, however -- it's a deeply-ingrained habit.
Sincere Regards,
David A. Mason
Professor of Korean Tourism, Kyung Hee University
Main Website: http://www.san-shin.org
also http://zozayong.com and http://baekdu-daegan.com
find me on Facebook and skype as "mntnwolf"
Office Phone: 02-961-0852    Mobile: 010-9734-9753
#710, Hotel-Tourism Management College Bldg
Kyung Hee University, Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, 
Seoul City, 130-701 Republic of Korea
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, 
we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
   --   John Muir

--- On Tue, 7/27/10, Janelli, Roger L. <janelli at indiana.edu> wrote:

From: Janelli, Roger L. <janelli at indiana.edu>
Subject: Re: [KS] Korean vocalizing
To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 5:41 AM

Dear Dr. Kramer,

You might have hard pansori competition, as Liora Sarfati has suggested. 

Another possibility is that you heard a form of vocal exercise. Many (15-20) years ago, a large tract of land now taken up by  Korea University hospital was vacant mountain and had had become a favorite early morning exercise location for local residents and others.  I usually heard individuals shouting when I visited the place for  own summer morning exercise.

Roger L. Janelli
Professor Emeritus
Folklore and Ethnomusicology
East Asian Languages and Cultures 
Indiana University, Bloomington

-----Original Message-----
From: koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws [mailto:koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws] On Behalf Of Jonathan Kramer
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:34 PM
To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
Subject: [KS] Korean vocalizing

Dear Listserve members,  When I served a Fulbright in ROK in the mid-'90s, I noted a practice among (usually) older Koreans who, while hiking in the mountains, would loudly vocalize or shout.  It seemed to be some kind of artful or health-giving practice.  Does anyone have information about this?  Is there a name for it?  How prevalent is this practice?  Any information would be appreciated.  jk

Jonathan C. Kramer, Ph.D.
Dept. of Music
Box 7311, NCSU
Raleigh, NC 
919-515-4204 (fax)

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