Pansori is a type of narrative epic, vocal music performed by a single singer, male or female, to the accompaniment of a small barrel drum. The narrative consists of three parts: singing, speaking, and gestures.Traditionally pansori singers were wandering minstrels of low social status, but their music was enjoyed by people at all levels of society. While the singer's role is central, the drummer makes an essential contribution, offering words of encouragement and witty comments throughout the performance.Pansori is thought to have originated in the shamanic rites of the Cholla region. By the mid-Choson period, there were twelve classic pansori pieces, but only five live on today, thanks to the scrupulous efforts of Shin Chae-hyo (1812-1884), a Choson aristocrat who compiled and refined them for posterity.
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