Traditional Korean music is comprised of the Chong-ak
and Minsogak genres.
As the music was enjoyed by the intelligentsia,
Chong-ak roughly corresponds to classical music in the West, whereas Minsogak, as
the music of the common people, corresponds to Western folk music and popular
As a general rule, the Chong-ak style of music has a spiritual, contemplative quality, while Minsogak openly
celebrates emotions in a lively fashion. The latter thus leads the listener
toward an ecstatic state of mind. In Western terms, the former is close to
Classicism while the latter resembles Romanticism. The representative
compositions of Chong-ak include Sujech'eon,
Yongsan hoesang and kagok, while those
of Minsogak include sanjo, Samul Nori and p'ansori.