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Stearns Lecture Series | Silk, Bamboo, and Wood: The Resonance of Korean Tradition

Ji-young Yi (kayagŭm) Ayoung Gwak (changgu) Jongrock Kim (taegŭm) Hilary Vanessa Finchum-Sung (haegŭm)
Saturday, January 18, 2020
6:00-7:30 PM
1350 Moore - Watkins Lecture Hall Earl V. Moore Building Map
While K-pop grabs the headlines, the music of Korea’s court and folk traditions sustains an undercurrent of deep cultural roots. This music (generically known as kugak, national music) can be soothing and calm, brash and jarring, mysterious and provocative; it is all the substance of nature and humanity in expressive, resonant form. The roots of Korean genres are diverse. Aristocratic genres draw on the strong influence of China’s silk and bamboo repertoire, shamanic rhythms, melodies and textures form the foundation for folk performance, and the exuberance and anguish of everyday life shape the roots of folk song. In this performance/lecture, we take you on a journey through the sonorities of Korea’s musical tradition with a focus on four instruments: the 12-string zither, kayagŭm; the large transverse bamboo flute, taegŭm; the two-string spike fiddle, haegŭm; the hourglass-shaped drum, changgu (three of which are present in the Stearns collection). Through presentations of solo and ensemble repertoire, we will explore the sound aesthetics embodied through instrument form as well as the ways by which instrument sound can diversify depending on performance history and context. The aesthetics of Korean court and folk-based genres include emphasis on melodic line progression, microtonal shadings, asymmetrical and additive rhythmic cycles, and heterophonic texture for ensemble performance. The presentation is a rare opportunity to experience Korean traditional performance in an accessible and open setting.

Cosponsored by the U-M Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Earl V. Moore Building
Event Type: Presentation
Tags: Asia, Korea, Music
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Nam Center for Korean Studies, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures