Fall 2000

• Meeting in Toronto, November 1-5, 2000
• From the President
• Resources for Korean Studies
• Conference At the University of Hawai'i, Manoa 2001
• CHIME Conference 2001
• SEM 2000 Paper Abstracts
• News from AKMR Members

YouYoung Kang, NewsletterEditor
Music Department, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
18952 E. Fisher Rd., St. Mary’s City, MD 20686 USA

Meeting in Toronto, November 1-5, 2000

The Forty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology in joint session with 13 other music societies



Friday, November 3, 6:30-8:00 pm

CONCERT: Music for the Kayagum

Hee-sun Kim (University of Pittsburgh)

Saturday, November 4, 12:30-1:30 pm



Thursday, November 2

9:00 am

“Music and Teleological Judgment: an Example on the Korean DMZ”

 Joshua Pilzer (University of Chicago)

Session: Dynamics of Performance

10:00 am

“The Search for Korean Identity through Korean Farmers’ Band Music in Hawai’i”

Myo Sin Kim (University  of Hawai’i, Manoa)

Session: Diasporic Musical Practices in Canada and the United States

11:00 am

“Composing Interculturalism: Jin Hi Kim, National Musics and Imagined Traditions” Jason Stanyek (University of California–San Diego)

Session: Musical Hybridization: Varieties of Inter-cultural Composition and Musicking

3:30 pm

“Road Test for a New Model: the Post-modern, the Postcolonial, and Korean Changgeuk Opera”

Andrew Killick (Florida State University)

Session: A Three-Dimensional Model of Postmodern Musical Experience

3:30 pm

“The Development of a Sanjo School: Case Study of the Kim Yun-duk Kayagum Sanjo”

Hee-sun Kim (University of Pittsburgh)

Session: Transmission and Transformation

Friday, November 3

9:00 am

“H’an and Shin’myong: an Aesthetic of Affect and the Body of Korean Folk Music”

Gloria Lee (New York University)

Session: Ethnomusicology of the Body

12:30 pm

“The Showcase of Korean Music and Dance at Chongdong Theater: its Effects and Meaning”

Jin-Woo Kim (University of Michigan)

Session: National Canons and Traditions

Saturday, November 4

10:00 am

“Music, Measurements, and Pitch Survivals in Korea”

Robert C. Provine (University of Maryland, College Park)

Session: Musical Hybridization: Instrumental Resources

11:00 am

“Korean Shaman’s Ritual Music Revisited”

Mikyung Park (Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea)

Session: Restudies and Revaluations

11:30 am

“An Alternative to Ethnomusicology in the Twenty-first Century”

Hyun Kyung Chae (Seoul National University)

Session: Ethnomusicology as Genre and Practice: Interrogating Disciplinary Boundaries

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From the President

        This is my last message as President before my successor, to be elected at the AKMR meeting in Toronto during the mega-conference of the Society for Ethno-musicology and other societies, snatches the reins from my trembling hands.  There are an impressive number of conference papers on Korean music being presented in a variety of disciplinary panels, and that seems to me to be an indicator of successful growth in scholarly studies of Korean music, widely defined.  I would like to think that the gathering of similarly-minded people in AKMR has contributed in some way to this increasing presence on the scholarly scene.  Many thanks to all those giving papers and anyone who was instrumental in encouraging others to make presentations.

      The AKMR website and discussion list will need to move from their current site in Durham, UK, to the United States.  It will probably be at the University of Maryland, once I obtain permission to set it up, and I hope to develop the site when my new teaching duties allow, and if the new officers wish it to be so.  We'll distribute update information to those whose email addresses we have.  As always, I continue to hope for receiving contributions for the website from AKMR members.

      My thanks to the AKMR officers and membership for making my period as President an entirely pleasant one.  Best wishes to you all for the future!

Robert C. Provine, President
October, 2000

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Resources for Korean Studies

Center for Korean Studies

University of Hawai’i, Manoa

1881 East-West Road

Honolulu, HI 96822


The Council on East Asian Libraries

Committee on Korean Materials

Internet Resources


Harvard Korea Institute

303 Coolidge Hall

1737 Cambridge St.

Cambridge, MA 02138


617-495-9976 fax


Frank Hoffmann’s Korean Studies page

Intercultural Institute of California

1362 Post Street

San Francisco, CA 94109


International Institute for Asian Studies


Korea Economic Institute of America

1101 Vermont Avenue, Suite 401

Washington, DC 20005-3521


Korea Foundation


Korea Research Foundation


The Korea Society

950 Third Avenue, 8th floor

New York, NY 10022


212-759-7530 fax


Korean Culture and Arts Foundation

(in Korean)


Korean Cultural Center

Los Angeles, CA


Korean Cultural Service

2370 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20008

202-797-6343 (6347)

202-387-0413 fax


Korean Embassy in the United States


Korean Information Service

Korea Window



National Digital Library

Catalog of Korean National Libraries


Northeast Asia Council (NEAC)

of the Association for Asian Studies

NEAC Korea Grants

Association for Asian Studies, Inc.

1021 East Huron Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48104



Sam Sung Foundation of Culture


Korean Culture and Arts on the Internet


UCLA Center for Korean Studies

International Studies and Overseas Programs

Box 951487

11282 Bunche Hall

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487


310-206-3555 fax


US Library of Congress


South Korea – A Country Study

North Korea – A Country Study


USC Korean Studies Institute


Note from the Editor:

Many of the Korean Resources on this list are taken from ASIANetwork Exchange VIII/1 (Fall 2000).  ASIANetwork is a consortium of North American undergraduate colleges striving to strengthen the role of Asian Studies in the liberal arts curriculum.

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“Current Research in Korean Music: Assessment and Prospects”

The Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

February 15-17, 2001

Contact: Byongwon Lee

(; 808-956-7618)

      An international conference devoted specifically to Korean music has, to our knowledge, never been held outside Korea; but I believe the time is now ripe for such a conference, for a number of reasons. The recent growth of international scholarly activity focused on Korean music is reflected in the increasing numbers of distinguished papers on that topic presented at academic conferences devoted to both ethnomusicology and Korean studies, or published in journals such as Asian Music. The Association for Korean Music Research, founded as an ancillary organization of the Society for Ethnomusicology in 1996, has come to achieve an impressive presence at meetings of the parent Society, organizing panels on Korea-related themes and attracting much interest from scholars of other specialization. Meanwhile, Korea specialists have secured teaching positions in the music departments of several American universities, where samul-nori and p’ungmul-type percussion ensembles have also proved extremely popular. This growing presence of Korean music in the international scholarly community deserves, I feel, to be both recognized and furthered by a conference bringing together the ‘state of the art’ in research on that topic from Korea and elsewhere.

Invited Speakers:

Hyun Kyung Chae (Ulsan University)

Heon Choi (Pusan National University)       

Nathan Hesselink (Illinois State University)

Jun Yon Hwang (Seoul National University)

Okon Hwang (Eastern Connecticut State University)       

Jae Won Im (Mogwon University)       

Andrew Killick (Florida State University)

Hey Jung Kim (Academy of Korean Studies)

Il Ryun Kim (Sookmyung Women’s Univ.)

Kyung Hee Kim (National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts)

Sun Ock Kim (KBS Traditional Orchestra)

Soo Mi Kim (Seoul National University)

Uee Jin Kim (Chonnam National University)

Oh Sung Kwon (Hanyang University)

Bo Hyung Lee (Academy of Korean Studies) 

Yong Nok Oh (Seoul National University)

Joshua D. Pilzer (University of Chicago)

Robert Provine (University of Maryland, College Park)                          

Bang-Song Song (Conservatory of Traditional Performing Arts)

Dae-Cheol Sheen (Kangung University)

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“Music and Meaning in China and East Asia”


Venice, Giorgio Cini Foundation

September 20-23, 2001

Music means whatever people say it means – or is there more to it ? Different countries in East Asia have different ideas about their local music traditions and what they mean.  The extraordinary importance attached to programme music in China and Vietnam is well-known, but not every music genre in those countries relies on extra-musical ideas, and the quest for a ‘story’ behind the music is far less important in some other Asian cultures.

        The seventh annual conference of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research (CHIME), which will be held in Venice, September 20-23, 2001, focuses on ‘music and meaning’ in the context of Asian music and theatre. If you are interested in participating in this meeting as a speaker, please send a brief paper proposal referring to one (or more) of the following key topics: beauty, myths, power, ritual, emotions.

        The Giorgio Cini Foundation, Istituto Venezia e l’Oriente and Venice University Ca’ Foscari will act as the main hosts and organizers for this meeting, co-supported by the CHIME Foundation and the School of  Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.

        The conference is intended for scholars and students of East Asian music and culture   –  with backgrounds in anthropology, journalism, ethnomusicology, theatre studies, Asian language studies, or any other related field – and also for musicians, composers and other enthusiasts and connoisseurs of far-eastern music and theatre, who would like to share with us their insights. We aim for an intimate, small-scale meeting (ca. 80 people), with room for some 25 papers, a practical workshop (Chinese percussion), ample time for discussion, and some brief concerts.

        Papers will be selected in relation with fundamental issues of Chinese and Asian musical aesthetics and functions, such as concepts of musical beauty and their historical, textual and practical articulations; the relationships between musical and extra-musical idioms; the links between music and ritual, and the role of music in mediating emotions.

      Abstracts should be sent before March 15, 2001 to Dr. Luciana Galliano at the address shown below. Please indicate below your abstract any requirements  of equipment (video, taperecorder, slides, CD-player, etc.) for your presentation.  Senders of abstracts will be informed about the program committee’s decisions before the end of March.

      The conference will take place in the buildings of the Giorgio Cini Foundation, a Benedictine Monastery only three minutes by ‘vaporino’ from San Marco. The monastery, founded in 982, is a great testimonial to central moments in the history of Italian Architecture and Art: the majestic creations of Andrea Palladio, the monumental Basilica overlooking the Basin of San Marco, the Cloisters, the grandiose halls of the Refectory, the monumental staircase and great Library by Baldassare Longhena, and the paintings by Tintoretto, Palma and Bassano. For more information about this place, you can visit the website  We can offer accommodation to the meeting’s participants. For this we have reserved space in the nearby monastery of San Giorgio.

For more information contact:
Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia
Dipartimento Studi sull’Asia Orientale
Dr. Luciana Galliano
Ca’ Soranzo, San Polo 2169-30125<
Venezia, ITALY
(until March 30, 2001)

(from April 1, 2001)
fax 39-041-720809

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SEM 2000 Paper Abstracts

“Confucianism and Western Classical Music In Korea”
Okon Hwang (Eastern Connecticut State University)

  The introduction of Western music in Korea about one hundred years ago has left an indelible mark on her culturalscape.  Nowadays, almost all children in urban Korea take Western music lessons as extra curricular activities.  Thousands of trained musicians are produced each year, and its impact reaches even school systems and music industries in the U.S. and Europe.

      Despite its phenomenal success, however, a question “why did it become so successful?” has rarely been asked because the term ‘Westernization’ has been taken for granted as an answer.  Although the impact of the West on Korea is undeniable, the term ‘Westernization’ fails to explain the absence of other Western cultural traits in Korea.  In addition, the term also alludes that culture is inescapably subjugated by politics and economy.  If so, how can we account for a minimal presence of Western classical music in countries like India that has had much more profound connections to the West than Korea?

      This paper will examine the successful presence of Western classical music in Korea from another angle.  Inspired by a discourse in economics that explored the relationship between Confucianism—the most powerful governing principal during the last few centuries—and the economic miracle of modern Korea, it will compare characteristics of Western classical music and Confucianism (such as their emphases on a strong work ethic and an importance of lineage) to see how a pre-existing condition of an indigenous country may partly be responsible for a successful grafting of a new culture.

“Road Test for a New Model: the Postmodern, the Postcolonial, and Korean Changgeuk Opera”
Andrew Killick (Florida State University)

Tim Rice has proposed what might be seen as a second “remodeling” of ethnomusicology, and every new model needs a road test – for us, one in which power perhaps counts for less than maneuverability and the capacity to negotiate different kinds of terrain. I will subject this new model to one such road test by using it to steer a course through the history of the Korean opera form changgeuk.  Though rooted in the older musical story-telling genre pansori, changgeuk is a product of the twentieth century and of the colonial encounter with Japan.  Applying the terms of Rice’s model, I will chart the development from “traditional” pansori through “modern” and “postmodern” changgeuk to the attempt to renew the cycle by re-inventing changgeuk as the “traditional” opera form Korea never had. I will examine this development in relation to the “metaphor” and “location” axes of the model, finding that this three-dimensional conceptual space offers a valuable way of understanding some of the complexities of an actual case and of seeking regularities in analogous cases.   But the test will also reveal that in the Korean context, modernity is unintelligible without reference to the experience and legacy of colonization, and that changgeuk is more fully understood through the condition of postcoloniality than through postmodernity in itself. This will suggest that for many of the peoples ethnomusicologists study, the modern and postmodern may be epiphenomena of the colonial and postcolonial, and should yield to those concepts as the primary terms of analysis.

“The Showcase of Korean Music and Dance at Chôngdong Theater: its Effect and Meaning”
Jin-Woo Kim (University of Michigan)

The Chôngdong Theater located in downtown Seoul has been a vivacious Korean  performing arts venue for the past few years. Its founding principles are, in part, to re-discover and develop Korean traditional performing arts, and to introduce traditional culture into the daily lives of Koreans. Along this vein, the traditional performing arts program has been designed to exert these principles. The repertories of the performances consist of various Korean music and dance genres, which are both either from the folk or court tradition. Currently, the theater’s effort to produce the traditional performances regularly have shown to be fruitful proven by the full seats, occupied by both natives and foreigners, in almost every performance, and the positive press coverage by major Korean newspapers. Furthermore, the theater’s potential to attract a large number of tourists and to promote Korean performing arts has been recognized by the government. In 1998, the Chôngdong Theater was designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as a cultural site for international tourists to experience traditional music and dance. This nomination has contributed to the growth of foreign audiences in number.

This paper will examine how Chôngdong Theater has come to gain success in presenting traditional music, and what ideas are projected through the performances to the domestic and international audiences. Also, it will discuss the subject of cultural tourism in relation to the performances at Chôngdong.   

"H'an and Shin-myong: An Aesthetic of Affect and the Body in Korean Folk Music”
Gloria Mi-Yung Lee (New York University)

The Korean terms han [unspeakable sorrow] and shin-myong [ecstasy/joyful energy] are affective words to describe Korean folk music aesthetics.  The close symbiosis of affect and the body is particularly evident in the musical achievement made through the performing body.  The unique timbre and non-metrical rhythm of tension and release found in folk singing and p’ungmul-nori (Farmer’s percussion music) are sensual forms inviting participation via affective appeal.  Together, han and shin-myong bring individuals1 affective and bodily experiences into collective play in what Steve Feld calls the “feelingful participation” of groove.  According to Feld, a musical groove is  simply “a comfortable place to be,” the essence of style which is “engraved and ingrained in cultures the way grooves are engraved and ingrained in record discs” (Feld, Music Grooves, 111).  Through an analysis of field-based data from the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association of New York and recent Korean literature on han and shin-myong, I propose that Korean folk music is a social space where people’s han –unspoken, because it is an emotion unspeakable– is expressed, felt, empathized and collectively sublimated through the shin-myong of musical sound.

“Music and Teleological Judgment: An Example on the Korean DMZ”
Joshua Pilzer (University of Chicago)
Between 1945 and 1953, the time period covering the post-WWII US/Soviet ëstewardshipí of Korea in the wake of Japanese colonialism and the end of the Korean War, nearly two million Northern Koreans migrated to the South.  Among this group were a handful of professional singers of Sôdosori, lyric songs from the Northwestern provinces of Hwanghae-do and Pyôngan-do.  These singers were heiresses to the traditions of the kisaeng, female entertainers who entertained Korean royalty, aristocracy, and commoners throughout the agrarian bureaucracy of the late Chosôn Dynasty.

      Focusing on Sôdosori, this paper presents, in germinal form, a theory of music and teleological judgment (Kant), i.e. the ways in which people use music to mediate and move between present realities and ideal goals.  Many long forms of music embody temporal processes (making and unmaking meaning, “grooving,” etc.) that attempt to create the physical and psychical conditions for the possibility of social, political, and spiritual progress.  In particular, music is often a strategy for unmaking meaning, in order to apprehend being from outside narrow fields of consciousness and ideology.

      In the forty-seven-year period since liberation from the Japanese colonialists, the singers of Sôdosori and their fellow migrants have faced war, exile, poverty, separation and death.  The performance of Sôdosori has become an opportunity for these women to reckon with these experiences and with ongoing personal, social, political and spiritual crises. The performance that frames this essay is a semi-annual concert of Sôdosori at the Demilitarized Zone, on the banks of the Imjin River, during Confucian ancestral worship ceremonies for the North Korean dead.  In performance, singers enact a transcendental teleological system in an effort to relieve suffering and to suggest the possibility of overcoming crisis beyond the framework of performance.  The performances move in stages, from melancholic contemplation of life’s troubles, to quasi-religious songs of transcendence, to humorous and celebratory folk songs, that evoke an atmosphere of transcendent freedom.

"Music, Measurements, and Pitch Survivals in Korea"
Robert Provine (University of Maryland, College Park)
In keeping with long-standing Chinese Confucian tradition, the young Chosôn dynasty (1392-1910) court in Korea needed to establish in the early fifteenth century a new set of standardized measurements (length, weight, and volume) for use in the kingdom.  The measurements were all proportionately related, so that if one were fixed, all the others were also determined.  Following Chinese precedent, the Koreans did considerable research into the establishing of a fundamental musical pitch from which the other twelve pitches in the octave could be determined, and the length of the pitch pipe which produced

this fundamental pitch in turn constituted a basic unit of length from which the other standard measurements could be calculated. 

      In the paper I explore this historical context and the unusual Korean process for setting their fundamental pitch and consequent measurement system.  While the historically attested Chinese procedure for setting the length of the fundamental pitch pipe involved lining up a number of grains of millet, the Koreans decided, after careful research and several test runs, to equate their

pitch instead to that on surviving fixed-pitch instruments received from early twelfth-century China.  Remarkably, that fundamental pitch is still in use in Korean court music today.  As it turns out, the fundamental pitch borrowed from China, which happens to be C, was itself not from a pitchpipe based on grains of millet, but one derived from the sum of the lengths of three fingers of the emperor's left hand.

“Composing Interculturalism: Jin Hi Kim, National Musics and Imagined Traditions”
Jason Stanyek (University of California–San Diego)
The composer and komungo virtuoso Jin Hi Kim immigrated to the United States from Korea in 1980; she was one of five million Asians who did so during that decade. A consequence of this immense and un-precedented diaspora has been a surge in intercultural collaborations not only between Asian and non-Asian Americans but also between musicians of different Asian ethnic backgrounds.  Since her arrival, Kim has, in her compositions, improvisations and writings, defined an approach to interculturalism which favors collaboration and mutual exchange over simple borrowing and incorporation.   In my reading of her work, hybridity becomes less an issue of the superimposing of diverse sonic materials than the creating of a space where performers with disparate and oftentimes contradictory personal and cultural narratives can interact.

      In particular, I look at the strategies Kim uses to compose interculturalism: bilingual scores, innovative notation and her idiosyncratic reshaping of concepts derived from traditional Korean musical practice.  I also examine how Kim has managed to couple Pan Asianism with feminism to create works for Asian American women that upend stereotypical notions of Asian American womanhood.  Finally, I use information garnered from two extensive interviews that I did with Kim to help grapple with issues that are of crucial importance to the discipline of ethnomusicology:  how musicians and institutions use notions of culture, ethnicity and nationality to organize performances and recordings; how globalization both reinforces and dilutes the idea of “national musics”; how intercultural collaboration can act as a catalyst for immigrants to re-imagine the musical traditions of their homelands.

Note from the Editor:

Abstracts for papers by Hee-sun Kim, Mikyung Park, and Hyun Kyung Chae were not available at the time of publication for the Fall 2000 Newsletter.  She will try to include them in the Spring 2001 issue.  

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News from AKMR Members

Andrew Killick (Florida State University) was recently elected to the SEM council and has been appointed as program committee chair for 2001 meeting of South-East/Caribbean chapter of SEM.  He is also the president-elect of AKMR.

Gloria Lee (New York University) received a grant from the Korea Foundation Korean Studies Graduate Scholarship Program through the Association for Asian Studies for the academic year, 2000-2001.

Rob Provine has now moved from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom to the University of Maryland, College Park, as Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology.  After 22 years in in the UK, he's finding it a shock to the system, but invigorating.  Contact info:
School of Music
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
301-314-9504 fax