Music, School of



Sanjo Nova

Date of this Version



Copyright © 2022 Randall Snyder


Sanjo Nova is a reimagining of the traditional Korean solo instrumental genre that developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It expands the number of performers to a trio, and, along with the Changgo drum, uses the violin and cello, suggesting the Haeguem and Komungo. The work follows the general slow to fast form, using aspects of traditional Changdans (rhythmic patterns). Unlike the traditional Sanjo however, this piece is an arch form, with decreasing energy in the second half, arriving at the slow Chungmori tempo at the end. Janggu should play in the folk style, using a mallet in left hand (lower notes), stick in right.

The center of the piece consists of optional improvised sections using the Onmori changdan. Pitch material based on the kyemynjmo mode may be referenced, but the soloists are encouraged to expand and play "outside" the mode. The choice, duration and sequence of the improvisations are optional. The percussionist is encouraged to embellish the music in reaction to the soloist, adding chiumsae if desired,