Pansori'c Rhapsody

From Wind Repertory Project
Chang-Su Koh

Chang Su Koh

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 8:45
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bravo Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - £€$130.00   |   Score Only (print) - $18.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Koh's plaintive, dark tribute to the Korean musical genre "pansori" reveals the passion and intensity of these two-person dramas portrayed by voice and drum. The composer avoids direct use of traditional melodies while emphasizing the greater dramatic feature of this theater. The dynamic of highly animated dance and music leaves a strong image of this deeply personal side of Korean culture.

- Program Note from publisher

Koh’s Pansori’c Rhapsody is a tribute to the traditional Korean dramatic theater called Pansori. The art form is used to recount Korean folk tales that originated as early as the seventeenth century, and the difficult practice of Pansori traditionally includes only two performers: the gosu, who is a drummer, and kwangdae, a singer. The audience also plays an integral part of a Pansori performance, as they are expected to respond to the performance with sounds of applause and encouragement.

Koh’s plaintive, dark tribute to this treasured Korean musical genre reveals the innate passion and intensity of these two-person dramas. Interestingly, Koh avoids direct use of any traditional melodies, but rather emphasizes the greater dramatic feature of this unique form of theatre, with long, rhapsodic solos evocative of the stylized singing employed in Pansori and the dynamic and rhythmic energy of this highly-regarded aspect of traditional Korean culture.

- Program Note from University of Michigan Concert Band concert program, 6 October 2016

The composition is divided into four main sections, loosely seen as an A-B-A-B form. The work starts with an explosive and angst-ridden introduction that is immediately followed by a contemplative soprano saxophone solo, representing the sorikkun (singer). The second section explores the more rhythmic nature of a pansori with the juxtaposition of duple versus triple feel. A new theme is presented in canon that builds with intensity and also reveals the influence of western harmony. The third section settles back to the song-like material from the first section but always with a sense of agitation. The angst churns until the theme from the opening bursts forth. The last section revisits the B theme but with more fervor and an acceleration of speed until the convergence of rhythmic motive is heard under the opening motive in augmentation. The work concludes with an abrupt and dramatic ending.

- Program Note from Baylor University Symphonic Band concert program, 1 December 2020


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Washington (Seattle) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Salzman, conductor) - 9 March 2023
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 2 September 2022
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Isaiah Odajima, conductor) - 1 December 2020
  • University of Washington (Seattle) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Salzman, conductor) - 12 March 2020
  • University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, PEI) Wind Symphony (Karem J. Simon, Conductor) - 24 March 2018
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 5 October 2016
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Wind Symphony (Donald L. Peterson, conductor) – 13 March 2010 (CBDNA 2010 Western/Northwestern Division Conference (Reno, Nev.)
  • Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Green Tie Wind Ensemble (Yasuhide Ito, conductor) – 12 July 2009

Works for Winds by This Composer


None discovered thus far.