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SamulNori: Contemporary Korean Drumming and the Rebirth of Itinerant Performance Culture (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)
In 1978, four musicians crowded into a cramped basement theater in downtown Seoul, where they, for the first time, brought the rural percussive art ofp’ungmulto a burgeoning urban audience. In doing so, they began a decades-long reinvention of tradition, one that would eventually create an entirely new genre of music and a national symbol for Korean...
In 1978, four musicians crowded into a cramped basement theater in downtown Seoul, where they, for the first time, brought the rural percussive art ofp’ungmulto a burgeoning urban audience. In doing so, they began a decades-long reinvention of tradition, one that would eventually create an entirely new genre of music and a national symbol for Korean culture. Nathan Hesselink’sSamulNoritraces this reinvention through the rise of the Korean supergroup of the same name, analyzing the strategies the group employed to transform a museum-worthy musical form into something that was both contemporary and historically authentic, unveiling an intersection of traditional and modern cultures and the inevitable challenges such a mix entails. Providing everything from musical notation to a history of urban culture in South Korea to an analysis of SamulNori’s teaching materials and collaborations with Euro-American jazz quartet Red Sun, Hesselink offers a deeply researched study that highlights the need for traditions—if they are to survive—to embrace both preservation and innovation.
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