The ajaeng is a Korean bowed zither traditionally used in shamanistic rituals, in court and folk ensembles to accompany dance, and as an instrument of virtuosity. The seven thick silk strings pass over a very large curved main bridge, and then again over smaller movable bridges that are on the raised top of the instrument.
Ajeang were traditionally played with a curved rosined wooden stick that created a harsh rugged sound. Recently violin bows are used to soften the sound. Ajeang are fairly difficult to play but in the hands of a master these are powerful and passionate instruments that produce a unique sound.
Ajeang have fine tuners placed under the main bridge and have a substantial roll of extra string at the far end of the instrument to allow for quick replacement of a broken string.
|© R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002|