Rosie vs. Doraji Taryeong compare and contrast

To begin with, the obvious similarity between Rosie and Doraji Taryeong is the fact that these two songs are both folk songs and that people sang these two songs while laboring. Both of the two songs are so called working songs, labor songs, or union songs because laborers sang these songs together, finding joy in working as a union.

However, the style and the way Rosie and Doraji Taryeong were sung differs by far. Rosie is constructed by “call-and-respond” style, in which the lead vocal sings one phrase and the rest follows and responds the lead vocal. On the other hand, Doraji Taryeong is sung in a way the singers sing the same melody at the same time, as a union. Also, the singing style of Doraji Taryeong is to “bend” the melodies. Though the singing style between these two songs varies, their means are the same: creating a union.

Also, although Doraji Taryeong could not have been sung with instruments while laboring, Doraji Taryeong can be accompanied  by various instruments when performed, such as danso, janggu, or gayageum. On the contrary, Rosie does not include any instruments and there hasn’t been any different interpretation of Rosie with any instrument. However, in the song Rosie, Chain Gang creates the leading beat as they ax the log.

In Doraji Taryeong, every note connects with the next, resulting the melody to flow smoothly. However, in Rosie, perhaps because it carries “call-and-respond” style, the melody line is stiff and choppy.

When I first listened to Doraji Taryeong, I simply thought that the song had a time signature of 3/4, but I was amazed to figure out that it had a time signature of 9/8. I acknowledged the significance of time signature through Doraji Taryeong, as its time signature, 9/8, creates a more dramatic effect and emphasizes the sad and desperate emotions. If Doraji Taryeong had a time signature of 3/4, the song would not have flowed smoothly, but the melody would have been stiff. However, by adding one more eighth-note to each beat, it creates a smooth melody structure. On the other hand, Rosie’s 4/4 time signature affects its choppy characteristic of the song.

Doraji Taryeong and Rosie surprisingly shares various similarities such as their homophonic texture and the fact that both songs have no harmony. Both songs being “union” songs, homophonic texture helps create a union as the workers sing together. Also, these two songs, sung by laborers, do not include difficult techniques.

Doraji Taryeong has 2 motifs: one of the two motifs is the first 4 measures of the song,

and the other motif is the following 4 measures of the 1st theme, measures 5 through 8.

Doraji Taryeong has a form of A-B-A-B-C-A-B, where the two motifs A and B recur frequently.  However in Rosie, the lead vocal and the rest repeat one motif throughout the whole song.

Since there is no original version of Doraji Taryeong, it is hard to determine the original tempo of the song. However if we assume that Doraji Taryeong has a tempo of Moderato, Rosie would have a tempo of Andante which has slightly slower beats than Moderato.

As shown above, there are countless similarities and differences between Doraji Taryeong and Rosie, that are affected by two distinct cultures. Just as different cultures share similarities and differences, music in different cultures share common and uncommon characteristics as well.

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