타다, 켜다, 치다, 불다, 연주하다 – Korean Words vs Words #14

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With Explanation

We are going to play today. I don't mean to hang out with you. We are going to play some music. In English, it is easy to play any kind of instrument because you just use the verb, play. In Korean, it is okay to use the verb 연주하다 for all musical instruments, but there are some special verbs that you need to know.

타다

If you play the stringed instrument with your hands, it is called 타다. Most famous instrument for this style is harp, so Koreans say "하프를 타다" for playing the harp. Traditional Korean stringed instruments like 거문고, 가야금 are also played with your hands, so the verb, 타다, is used for them.

다윗이 타는 하프 소리를 들으면 사울 왕은 마음이 안정 되었다.
The mind of King Saul became calm after hearing the sound of harp played by David.

가야금을 타는 소리는 항상 TV를 통해서만 들었는데 어제 처음 실제로 들어보게 되었다.
I have listened to the play of 가야금 only through TV, but I finally listened to it on live

켜다

Unlike harp, many stringed instruments like violin, cello, viola are played with bow. For those instruments, you should use the word, 켜다.

그냥 얻어먹기만 하면 별로니까 제가 바이올린을 켜 볼게요.
If I eat for free, that is not right. I will play the violin for you.

2년째 첼로를 켜 온 김 양은 첼로를 배우기 전보다 많이 차분해졌다.
Ms. Kim who has played the cello for 2 years became much calmer after she learned it.

치다

For most percussion instruments like drum, cymbals, bell, the verb, 치다, is used. As you all know, percussion means to hit, then you can easily remember why 치다 is used for them. For some non-percussion instruments like piano and guitar, 치다 is also used for them. Guitar is stringed instrument and played with your hand, so you might have thought that 타다 is more appropriate for it. For some reason, it is really rare to use 타다 for guitar.

응원할 때 북을 치는 이유가 뭔지 알아?
Do you know why drums are hit when they cheer in sports games?

피아노 치는 법 좀 다시 배우고 싶다.
I want to learn how to play the piano again.

불다

For wind instruments like flute, clarinet, harmonica, the verb, 불다, is used. To make wind, you should blow. Blow is 불다 in Korean. That is why 불다 is used for those instruments.

이번 연주회에서 내가 플루트를 불기로 했다.
I will play the flute for this concert.

민희가 오지 않아서 내가 클라리넷을 불려고 했다. 그런데 민희를 대신할 연주자가 나타나서 나는 하모니카를 불었다.
As 민희 didn't come, I was going to play the clarinet. But a substitute player came out, so I played the harmonica.

연주하다

If you don't know what to do, or thought that those verbs are too complicated, don't worry. There is a one-size-fits-all verb for you. It is 연주하다. You can use it in any cases. Particularly, if some music is played by a lot of instruments, then you cannot use above verbs, only 연주하다 is used for that.

YouTube에 가면 교향악단이 연주하는 게임 배경 음악들이 있는데, 누가 그런 아이디어를 냈는지 신기하다.
There are some game BGMs played by an orchestra in YouTube. They are really awesome. I want to know who first thought that idea.

바이올린 연주할 줄 알아?
Can you play the violin?