Let’s talk about the most interesting upbeat music you’ll ever hear!
‘Trot’ might only bring images of horses to your mind, and we are about to change that!
Trot, sometimes called (뽕짝) ppongjjak is a genre of Korean pop music and is also referred to as the mother of K-Pop! We hope you already know about K-Pop because we will need a whole new feature for its description! Trot is the oldest form of Korean Pop music and has a very distinct beat and style. Let the music do the talking, you’ll love it!
Brief History And Present
In the early 1900s, when Korea was under the Japanese rule, Trot music started as a genre of music that was influenced by Japanese, Western and Korean musical elements. Over the years, from ‘yuhaengga’ to ‘teuroteu’ (the Korean pronunciation of the word trot), the genre has been called by many names. It ceased to remain popular with time as the South Korean Pop music flourished but recent years have seen tremendous growth in Trot listeners as it has been popularised by modern artists such as Super Junior-T, BIGBANG, After School, etc.
Here’s a modern Trot song by K-pop girl group After School‘s member Lizzy, which you will not regret listening to! “I’m Not An Easy Girl” has English captions and a very entertaining music video!
What’s It Like?
While some of you rushed to the YouTube links to watch the video, others were skeptical about trying out a new genre from another country. Let’s ease your transition!
Trot is derived from shortening “foxtrot“, which influenced the simple two-beat element of the genre. Trot music is a duple rhythm with traditional seven-five syllabic stanzas and a unique vocal style called Gagok. Gagok is a genre of Korean vocal music that mixes female and male voices, and is accompanied by traditional Korean musical instruments.
Yun Sim-deok’s 1926 recording “In Praise of Death” is regarded as the first Trot song, while Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. Later, in the 1930s, Trot began to be produced by Korean songwriters and composers. Kim Yong-hwan’s “Nakhwa Yusu” ( “Falling Flowers and Flowing Water”) became an emblem in the rise of Trot music in Korea. This is the pop music about first love and breakups, how cool is that?!
After the end of World War II and Japan’s colonial rule over Korea, Trot music started incorporating western influences. Female trio singers The Kim Sisters became popular during this time and rose to fame when they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show during the 1960s. Dive into the beautiful Trot music in English:
Notice the traditional hairstyle, glamorous makeup, bright earrings and dresses!
And the music, oh the music! It takes you around the world with its beats and at other times, it makes you feel like you’re just basking at a beach, staring into the sea.
Even though the generation who lived at the peak of Trot’s popularity is ageing and the genre is experiencing a decline, the catchy Trot music is so addictive that with its revival by the modern K-Pop stars, it has popped back into the music scene.
Allow this genre to take you on a musical trip to another world!