(1.a) I can play the gayageum.
(1.b) I can play the samulnori.

I can tell that ‘play the gayageum,’ having a definite article, is proper from ‘play the violin’ in CGEL,p.408. But how about ‘samulnori’? Do I have to add the or not? From ‘Hilda can dance the waltz’ (CGEL,p.408) (for dance), and ‘play the violin’ (for playing the musical instrument), it perchance needs to take the, because ‘samulnori’ is a combination of playing musical instruments and dancing. But there's no way for me to know.

When the verb is changed form ‘play’ to ‘practice’, is that you replied is applied alike?

(2.a) I practice the gayageum.
(2.b) I practice the samulnori.


In the case of "samulnori" as I read in wikipedia Samul nori, it seems to refer to a performance art requiring many skills, not just the playing of an instrument.
As such, I would use "perform" or "practice", but not play. And I would use a mass noun form (no article). Therefore:

I practice samulnori.

same as you would say:

I practice ballet.
I perform kabuki.

But if you are talking about one of the drums used in the performance, then you can use the same forms as with the violin.

I play the buk.

  • 2
    +1 But: if you were a dancer you would "perform" samulnori; but if you were a percussionist you would "play" samulnori, just as you "play" jazz or rock or salsa. Oct 12 '14 at 21:48
  • Or "I play Korean jazz, 아빠 오" Oct 12 '14 at 22:23
  • @StoneyB, In Samul-nori, all the members are both dancers and percussionists, although for some performances indoor they have to be sedentary or standing performances for just showing or cramped conditions. That's why they're so exciting and active and so even the audiences participate as their comrades, as dancers, hummers , hooers, shouters. They say at last there's no lines between performers and audiences, all are one.
    – Listenever
    Oct 13 '14 at 1:38

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