Some OST tracks are incredible, often being chart toppers over many general K-pop songs. Others are loathed, for they have been played ad nauseum at all the wrong moments (“Almost Paaaaaradice!!!” for example.) There are still others that are rarely noticed, overlooked for general OST songs. This subset of OST music is the instrumentals. In most K-drama OSTs, instrumentals are rarely released in large quantities, if at all; but of those instrumentals that are released, most are absolutely brilliant. It’s really a shame that they’re not noticed more.
Here’s some of my favorite K-drama instrumentals:
Goong’s OST always brings me a bit of nostalgia, because it was my first drama, and by extension, my first OST. In particular, the Goong team did a spectacular job of making the music light, bright and whimsical, bringing the fantasy of modern Korean royalty to life and complimenting the vibrant filmography as well. “Perhaps Love” may be the most iconic song of the set, but for me, “Ice Pond” has always been the most memorable.
The King 2 Hearts:
What is interesting about The King 2 Hearts’s OST is how instrumentally heavy it is for a modern drama. Usually, that kind of OST is relegated to saeguks, but in a sense, The King 2 Hearts is a saeguk masquerading as a modern drama. As such, we end up with grand, broad stroke instrumentals, reminiscent of saeguks, just with a modern twist.
Hang Ah’s Dream:
Playlist (the first 7 are non-instrumental):
Arang and the Magistrate:
Arang and the Magistrate‘s OST instrumentals make me think of magical children’s movies and Harry Potter, but with a touch of Korean traditional style. I only wish they put in more.
Arang Love Theme:
As the last three OSTs were from fusion saeguk/revival of royalty kind of dramas, here is the OST of a drama of the opposite nature. Mawang, or The Devil, is revenge driven thriller whose music settles in perfectly with the psychological madness that is this drama. Although Mawang is not very mainstream, it is actually an incredible drama that I highly recommend you check out if you’re into thrillers. Unfortunately though, the internet is not as kind to under-the-radar dramas when it comes to finding the OST, but here’s a taste of what’s in store.
거짓된 사람들 (The only English translation I could find is “False People”):
So Seoulmates, which are some of your favorite instrumental OSTs?