Tune of the Day: Arirang
“Arirang” is without any doubt the most popular and best-known Korean folk song, both inside and outside Korea. The word arirang in itself is an ancient native Korean word with no direct modern meaning; to get an idea of how the piece should be interpreted, consider that ari means “beautiful”, while rang can mean “dear”.
The South Korean government designated Arirang as the official march of the US Army 7th Infantry Division after its service in Korea during the Korean War in the 1950s, although the official Division song was the “New Arirang March”, an arrangement of Arirang into an American-style march.
In February 2008, the New York Philharmonic emblematically performed Arirang as an encore during its unprecedented trip to North Korea.