On the contents

The name of the ensemble


Moranbong Aktan, literally Peony Hill Music Group

牡丹峰樂團  牡丹峰音乐团  牡丹峰楽団 モランボン楽団

Ансамбль Моранбон                                 Pionikukkulan yhtye

Moranbong Band is the usual English translation. It fit the organization best in the beginning in 2012. Nowadays a more fitting translation could be Moranbong Orchestra, as it has over the years turned into a fairly traditional type of North Korean ensemble.

The pages on this site contain the titles, their translations, and creators of Moranbong Band songs published at YouTube or elsewhere to the extent that it has been possible to find them. The purpose of this site is simply to work as an aid in research on contemporary North Korean cultural life. This site was originally created in Kyoto in May 2014, and I have updated much of the information and corrected a lot of various mistakes in May 2016, again in Kyoto.

I have received help in this from many friends and commentators on the pages. Especially Mizuno Naoki’s help has been indispensable in deciphering the meanings of song titles; the North Korean variety of the language is often quite different from the South Korean one, where dictionaries can be used more easily.Chinese titles are hard to come by, and my Chinese is not good enough to attempt them by myself.

Transcription of Korean names has been done with a system that can be called corrupted McCune-Reischeuer. Original McCune-Reischeuer, as well as the South Korean New Government Romanization (NGR), are both systems of transliteration. They do not aim at sensible pronunciation by non-Korean speakers; the latter system being more terrible than the former on this score. By transcribing – rather than translitering – the titles I have tried to approach a way they could be pronounced satisfactorily by non-Koreans.

Pictures on the pages, unless mentioned otherwise in connection with an individual picture, are all screengrabs from the video under analysis.

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7 thoughts on “On the contents”

  1. kwaximus said:

    The latest mention in official sources – out of 310 new patriotic slogans published in February there are 3 which relate to the band or their songs. Well the 3rd one is kinda far fetched here (anyway I like it).
    “Learn from the revolutionary and militant manner of creating works developed by the Moranbong Band to bring about innovations in creative activities!”
    “Let this socialist country resound with Song of Big Fish Haul and be permeated with the fragrant smell of fish and other seafoods!”
    “Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!”

    Hopefully it is a sign the band still exist.

  2. Today in KNCA, performances given by Moranbong Band for KPA people. 4/29/2015

  3. Markku Valkio said:

    Allekirjoittanut diggaa Moranbong yhtyettä. Olen miettinyt mistä löytäisin dvd-ja cd-levyjä. Tein noin 15 vuotta sitten yhteenvedon Korean musiikista. Terv. 6.5.2016 Markku Valkio (diplomilaulaja),puhelin 0400-624706.

    • pekkakorhonen said:

      Pyongyangissa niitä on. Hyvin harvoin myytävänä myös joissakin PKorean ystävyysseurojen nettikaupoissa, mutta todella harvoin. MBB ei tee musiikkia markkinoita varten, vaan kansan kulutettavaksi, pääosin ilmaiseksi televisiosta, radiosta ja kovaäänisistä pitkin kaupunkeja. On myös olemassa paikallisia piraatti-CD -levyjä, joita kuuleman mukaan myydään myös Kiinassa Korean paikallismarkkinoiden ohella, mutta en ole sellaista itse koskaan nähnyt.

  4. Lennart Haggstrom said:

    Hello Pekka
    Thanks a lot for your fine work with this site!
    I have 2 questions:
    1. Do you possible have any more info about Cellist Yu Un-Yong? Is she still playing in the band or what she otherwise is doing now in addition being a high rank military?
    2. Do you know where it might be possible to buy a CD and or DVD with this band?

    Thanks a lot in advance.
    Best regards

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