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The Second Heyday of Trot in Korea
  • By Jung In-hee, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2021.03.08 08:47
  • 호수 286
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▲ Miss Trott's National Tour Concert Hall. (Source: Sedaily)

Currently, the trot craze is going strong in Korea. The 2019 trot audition program “Miss Trot 1” recorded high viewer ratings and produced new trot stars. Following this, "Mr. Trot 1”, which aired in 2020, also received keen attention from the public. So trot is now in its second heyday in South Korea. After the program finished trot music remained on the top 100 music chart and became a popular music trend. Due to the increasing popularity of trot, it’s now having a continued influence in other media as well as music.

The success of trot has had a lot of influence on the media. Commercial songs used in advertisements to promote products now feature trot songs. Many trot singers are also appearing in programs and advertisements that popular idols and actors usually appear in. As a result of the popularity of trot, Yoo Jae-seok’s alternate character, trot singer Yoo San-seul, was instead hosted MBC's popular program "Hanging out with Yoo". The program showed people enjoying trot through songs that can be sung by men and women of all ages. In addition, trot singing competition shows such as “Voice Trot” and “Trot God Has Risen” are in the works. Participants in “Miss Trot” and “Mr. Trot” are constantly appearing in programs and advertisements as if to prove their popularity. It’s clear that trot has become a mainstream part of culture that can be enjoyed by various age groups.

Trot has had a resurgence after limited popularity through the charm of its singing competition shows. Trot-style music was introduced to Korea in the late 1920s, in the Japanese colonial era. Due to the Joseon language obliteration policy implemented in the late 1930s, Korean songs became similar in style to Japanese songs over time, and stayed as such until independence. After the liberation of Korea, pop songs and jazz techniques were introduced to Korea, and at the same time people were free to create and distribute independent Korean songs. Through this change, Korea's unique style of trot, which is based on four-four time, was created to add strength control and unique singing methods. For those who were unable to freely express their feelings in the Japanese colonial era, trot served as a comfort and offered peace of mind. Since then, trot was reborn, and has been integrated into Korean culture for a long time as a form of music which appeals to people of all ages and genders.

Recently, parts of Korean culture such as K-POP and K-dramas have gained popularity around the world, increasing interest in the Korean Wave. Now that trot continues to gain popularity and is becoming one of Korea's leading music genres, it is time to expect the Korean Wave to become more musically diverse in the future. People hope that trot, which contains a special sentiment of “Han”, will become a representative player in the Korean Wave through its unique charm. It will contribute to the development of Korean culture, and help those around the world recognize its value.

By Jung In-hee, cub-reporter  sugar3870@naver.com

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