Use of national folk music in a style utilizing original and modern procedures: a case study of Korean contemporary art music 16 arirang variations for piano solo by Bahk Jun Sang

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mun Soo Kim (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Joseph DiPiazza

Abstract: The present document addresses the ways intercultural music emerged and intensified in Korea in historic and musical developments since the introduction of Western music in the late nineteenth century, and to provide a theoretical analysis of 16 Arirang Variations for piano solo by Bahk Jun Sang; hopefully pianists and music scholars may benefit from understanding the role of national folk music and its incorporation into modern Western musical styles as the most notable features in this composition. Among many Korean contemporary composers, Bahk Jun Sang (b. 1937) has contributed to the development of this new trend to blend national identity with more contemporary innovations. His work, 16 Arirang Variations for piano (1985), is a musical exploration of a spectrum of styles combining authentic folk elements with more avant-garde developments. For a better understanding of the work, biographical information on the composer and a theoretical analysis of this work is included in this document. Through studying the characteristics of each variation performers can present a more informed interpretation of the piece. Another goal in this study was to present detailed and comprehensive information on the development of Korean art music in the course of the twentieth century, which will benefit scholars and performers alike given the current increase of importance in a growing Asian contribution to the body of art music once almost exclusively Western. Ater the introductory Chapter I, Chapter II describes the development of the musical acculturation in Korea in the twentieth century to provide readers with a better understanding of the historical background of the work. The chapter continues with an examination of musical approaches which combine modern musical idioms and national folk music. Since Korean folk music plays an essential role in this work, some knowledge of traditional Korean folk music is included. Chapter III examines the role of folk music in the musical synthesis, featuring the incorporation of folk music into an intercultural blend of Eastern and Western art music. The remainder of Chapter III describes detailed features, including historical background and musical characteristics of Arirang, the Korean folk song which is used in 16 Arirang Variations. Chapter IV contains a brief biographical sketch of Bahk Jun Sang, and, most importantly, a theoretical analysis which details and explains the musical blend of Korean folk music and Western-style techniques in Bahk's 16 Arirang Variations for piano.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
National Folk Music, Contemporary Art Music , Piano S
Bahk, Junsang
Folk music $z Korea $x History and criticism

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