suri suri masuri (satb)


  • Catalog ID: S-446
  • First Line: suri suri masuri
  • Composer: Hyun Kook
  • Voicing: satb
  • Accompaniment: a cappella
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea
  • Other: new 2018
  • Score: View Score
  • Sound: Listen


Cultural Context

The text, originally appearing as surisurimasuri (a single 7-syllabled word), is a sorcerer’s spell much like abracadabra in the English-speaking world, and is a children’s magical incantation in Korea. Though the source of the word is unknown, it is thought to have its roots in the chanting sutra Surisuri Mahasuri from the Buddhist scripture Cheonsugyeong.

Yali yali yalashiung is an onomatopoeia of an old Korean string instrument. It is part of a refrain in the old traditional song, Cheongsanbyeolgok—a prominent piece of Korean escapism poetry.

Program Notes

Completed in January of 2015, Suri Suri Masuri received its premiere from the Gunsan City Choir conductor Dr. Jihoon Park, in March of the same year. It was included in the composer’s book of choral works named Lux Aeterna with the recording from the Gwang Myeong City Choir, conducted by Youngjin Kim.

Performance Notes

Suri Suri Masuri is the exuberant third song from Three childhood lyrics for vocal ensemble. Formally, it is a simple ternary structure. Part A of the structure is characterized by parallel fths that are e ected with ‘S’ consonants within the prestissimo tempo. Joined by ascending soli (or solos), Part B is canonically layered from bass to soprano in a similarly ascending tonal scheme—this waving pattern of sound and layering is meant to represent rising incense in a shrine or old temple soaring up into the sky. The piece concludes with a reprise of Part A, a very brief coda, and a stomp.

Hyun Kook