The George Washington University

2001 Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities

Co-hosted with The Korean Cultural Service, 

Korean Embassy

Korean Music

Saturday, October 20, 2001

9:00 - 12:30

The Korean Cultural Service

2370 Massachusetts Avenue NW



9:00 – 9:20Coffee
9:20 - 9:30 Opening Remarks

Joon-yeob Han, Minister for Public Affairs & Director of Korean Cultural Service

Session I Lectures (Kirk Larsen, Chair)

9:30 - 10:10 Robert C. Provine

“Music, Measurements, Pitch Survivals, and Bell Shapes in Korea”

10:10 - 10:50Byungki Hwang

“Korean Music and Its Chinese Influences”

10:50 – 11:00BREAK

Session IICommentaries (Young-Key Kim-Renaud, Chair)

11:00 - 11:15 Chan E. Park

11:15 – 11:30 Andrew P. Killick

11:30 – 11:45Elizabeth D. Tolbert

Session IIIGeneral Discussion (R. Richard Grinker, Chair)

11:45 – 12:30

12:30 – Buffet Lunch


Robert C. Provine

The standard measurement system (length, weight, and volume) of the early Chosôn dynasty was closely related to the determination of musical pitch. This paper explores the historical context and the unusual fifteenth-century Korean process for setting their fundamental pitch and consequent measurement system. It can be shown that the modern basic pitch of Korean aak, C, is the same as in early twelfth-century China, and that tuned bells still played in modern Korea retain a shape and structure from about the third century BCE.

Byung-ki Hwang

Although Korean music of the traditional upper-class society, especially court music, was built on the basis of the cosmological philosophy of Confucianism from ancient China, the music itself — i.e., the rhythm, melody and instruments — is entirely different from Chinese music. In other words, the upper-class society of Korea developed an original music as it strove to adhere to the musical philosophy of ancient China even better than Chinese themselves. Although other fields of culture and the visual arts such as the fine arts, literature and philosophy were tremendously affected by Chinese influences, music, a purely audio art, was a creation of Koreans with almost no influences from China. This is why Koreans often say, “the traditional music is the soul of Korea.”



Byung-ki Hwang

Byung-ki Hwang is an Emeritus Professor of Korean Music at Ehwa Womans University in Seoul. Although he received a law degree from Seoul National University in 1959, Hwang had studied kayagûm and composition at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts from 1951. He has received critical acclaim as the scholar of Korean traditional music and composer and performer who opened a new chapter in contemporary re-creation of kayagûm music. Hwang has been awarded numerous prizes, including the prestigious Chungang Cultural Grand Prize in 1992. He has toured widely since 1964, performing both traditional pieces and his own compositions in major venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Paris’s Musée Guimet. In 2000 he was elected to the National Academy of Arts. Hwang currently serves on the government’s Cultural Property Preservation Committee and the Korean Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music. <>,

Robert C. Provine

Robert C. Provine is Chairman of the Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Music, M.A. in Asian Studies, and Ph.D. in Music, all from Harvard University. Provine researches the music of East Asia (China, Korea, and Japan), with a particular focus on Korean traditional music and a disciplinary emphasis on historical ethnomusicology. He also has an interest in Barbershop Quartets. Aside from having taught for many years in the United Kingdom, he is a member of the Board of the Society for Asian Music and past President of both the Association for Korean Studies in Europe and the Association for Korean Music Research. He has contributed the country article “Korea” and nineteen shorter entries to the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001). He is the author of Essays on Sino-Korean Musicology: Early Sources for Korean Ritual Music (1988) and many articles. <>,


Andrew P. Killick

Andrew P. Killick is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at The Florida State University and President of the Association for Korean Music Research. He is the author of a doctoral dissertation on Korean ch’anggûk opera (University of Washington, 1998), and numerous published articles. Since 1988 he has studied kayagûm with Hwang Byung-ki. His research interest in musical theater extends from Korean opera to the Broadway and Hollywood musical. Killick is also a prize-winning translator of modern Korean literature.,

Chan E. Park

Chan E. Park, Assistant Professor of Korean Language, Literature, and Folklore at The Ohio State University, is a performer and ethnographer of p’ansori, a story-singing tradition of Korea. For the past two decades, Park has worked toward inventing and theorizing the global presentation of local narrative traditions, with specific focus on the transnational performance of p’ansori for English speaking audiences. Park has written extensively on the interdisciplinary applicability of p’ansori. Her monograph, Voices from the Strawmat: Toward an Ethnography of P’ansori Singing, is forthcoming at the University of Hawaii Press. Chan Park,,

Elizabeth D. Tolbert

Elizabeth D. Tolbert is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has pursued fieldwork in Finland with Finnish-Karelian lamenters, and among conservatory musicians in the United States. Her publications reflect her diverse interests in ethnomusicological theory, ritual, psychology of music, and intercultural aesthetics. <> ,


Roy Richard Grinker

Roy Richard Grinker is Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at the George Washington University. He is the author of publications on ethnicity and nationalism in Africa and Korea, including Korea and Its Futures: Unification and the Unfinished War (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998). His most recent book is a biography of the late anthropologist, Colin M. Turnbull, In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin M. Turnbull (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000). <>,

Young-Key Kim-Renaud

Young-Key Kim-Renaud is Professor of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs at GW. She is past President of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics. A theoretical linguist with broad interest in Korean humanities and Asian affairs, Kim-Renaud has published five books and numerous articles in the area of Korean phonology, writing system, honorifics, and general Korean cultural history. <>,,

Kirk W. Larsen

Kirk W. Larsen is Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs at the George

Washington University, and co-convener of the HMS Colloquium in the Korean Humanities. He received his Ph.D. in

History at Harvard University. His research interests include imperialism and trade in Korea, East Asian

industrialization, and the Overseas Chinese community in Korea. His forthcoming book explores Chinese commercial

imperialism in late 19th century Korea. <>

Special thanks to the George Washington University Sigur Center for Asian Studies.

The Colloquium is open to the public and is free of charge. However, space is limited and reservations are required.

For more information:

Mr. Gregory Shook

Korean Cultural Service

2370 Massachusetts Ave.NW

Washington, DC20008

Tel: 202-797-6345 Fax: 202-387-0413

Dr. Young-Key Kim Renaud

Dept. of East Asian Languages and Literatures

The George Washington University

Washington DC, 20052

Tel: 202-994-7107/7106Fax: 202-994-1512