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Contained in the FINGERPICKING Solo Ukulele Instrumentals eBook – – -ARIRANG – Traditional Korean Folk Song – Arranged for ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch

July 26, 2013

ARIRANG – Traditional Korean Folk Song – Arranged for ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch
arirang title slide

“Arirang” (Korean: “아리랑”) is a Korean folk song, often considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea
Many versions of the song open by describing the travails the subject of the song encounters while crossing a mountain pass. “Arirang” is one name for the pass and hence the title of the song. Some versions of “Arirang” mention Mungyeong Saejae, which is the main mountain pass on the ancient Joseon Dynasty road between Seoul and southeastern Gyeongsang Province.
In December 2012, the song was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity programme by UNESCO. This was followed by an announcement by the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea of a five-year plan to promote and preserve the song. The plan is aim to support “Arirang” festivals by regional organizations, as well as building an archive for the song, exhibitions, fund research; of which it has allocated ₩33.6 billion.
The South Korean government designated Arirang as the official march of the U.S. Army’s 7th Infantry Division since 26 May 1956, after its service in Korea during the Korean War, though the official Division song was the “New Arirang March,” an American-style march arrangement of Arirang (the 7th Infantry Division is currently inactive; however, it will be reactivated as an administrative headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington on October 1, 2012 to provide more oversight and guidance for the base’s five combat brigades.
On February 26, 2008, the New York Philharmonic performed Arirang for an encore during its unprecedented trip to North Korea

Below is a performance I did of my ukulele arrangement of ARIRANG

My arrangement for ukulele is known as a CHORD / MELODY arrangement. The chords are played simply by rolling the thumb from the 4th string to the 1st. As always, my playing style is to brush the strings up on the neck a bit rather than down by the sound hole or bridge. This gives it a fuller, warmer sound. I’ve placed a short snippet of the music below. The chord fingerings are actually given in the chord grids above each line. Simply hold those chords down while you brush the strings then play the single note melody. Alternating chord with melody throughout . . . Keep a slow languid feel throughout. Do not rush. Listen closely to the YOU TUBE video and once you have the tempo up try playing along with it.



The Ukulele is EXTREMELY popular in Korea and a couple of years ago some young Korean university students created this video to thank me for my teaching. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it. I was and am honored by them and am so grateful that my teaching has reached all the way from the US to Korea. This is a perfect example of how music can bring peoples together, break down walls and create a world community of loving peace. I’ve posted it here for your enjoyment. . . Happy Strumming to you all . . .

Music for ARIRANG is included in my SOLO UKULELE INSTRUMENTAL eBook collection 2013 Enlarged edition. It can be purchased for $28.95 by paying through the paypal donate button on my website:
Once purchased it will be emailed to you within the day. HAPPY STRUMMING!!!

For information regarding any ukulele product please email:

I also have a complete library of Chord/Melody eBooks.  They can be purchased separately or as a tri pak at discount


3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2021 2:54 p03

    Great video by the Korean students. Mike must have been deeply touched.

  2. April 7, 2014 2:54 p04

    Reblogged this on UKULELE MIKE LYNCH – All things UKULELE.

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