This popular folk song is often considered to be the unofficial anthem of South and North Korea. Arirang is included twice on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The most well-known lyrics to Arirang first appeared in the 1926 silent film Arirang, directed by Na Woon-gyu. Arirang is now considered a lost film but various accounts say the film was about a Korean student who became mentally ill after being imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese. The film was a hit upon its release.
This arrangement is well within early intermediate students, who will get opportunities to practice pedaling, arpeggiated bass, rolled chords, dotted eighth-sixteenth patterns, and triplets.
Special notes, including the lyrics in the original Korean and an English translation, are included.
Key: G Major
Mood: sad, peaceful
Pedagogy: pedaling, arpeggiated bass, rolled chords, dotted eighth-sixteenth patterns, triplets