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The Traditional Sounds of Sunny Lee

Sunny Lee is a professional Komungo player based in Seoul who has been playing since she was 17. She chose to study the instrument because she thought it was unique, looked cool and was different from the Kayageum (which is another traditional instrument).

The Komungo is a traditional Korean stringed musical instrument of the zither family of instruments with both bridges and frets. The instrument originated circa the 4th century through the 7th century from the kingdom of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, although the instrument can be traced back to the 4th century.

It is generally played while seated on the floor. The strings are plucked with a short bamboo stick called suldae, which is held between the index and middle fingers of the right hand, while the left hand presses on the strings to produces various pitches.

She currently works for the National Gugak Center as a Komungo leader and teaches the instrument at The Korean National University of the Arts.

Learning the instrument was difficult and she still finds it hard sometimes to play due to the thickness of the string.

She has had 12 solo performances since 2002 and her next performance is on the 27th of December based on the theme of Love.

For Sunny, traditional music is the essence of Korea.

She will be releasing an album which will be translated into English soon.

Check out some of her amazing performances below: