Layers of Thought on Korean Music, Music Education and the Value of Music and Arts in the Context of Education and Human Development

  • Ki-Beom Jang
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 11)

Living in a global society, it is essential to understand each other and appreciate the culture of others as well as our own. Koreans would like their national musical culture to become more heterogeneous: one in which we can appreciate the aesthetics and values of the uniqueness of each cultural heritage and at the same time celebrate musical diversity. However, there are mainly only two kinds of music prevalent in Korea today: Korean traditional music and Western music.

The root of Korea’s traditional music, like its culture, goes back thousands of years while Western music has influenced Korean culture only in the last 100 years. Western missionaries, primarily from the United States, taught Korean religious converts hymns and gospel songs for the purpose of worship; a music that became the root of Western music in Korea. Today, the musical culture of Korea is dominated by Western music, as we discover when listening to a FM radio station or by asking a Korean to sing a song. The Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) is the official government broadcasting system for Korea but according to the current music-broadcasting schedule, 2 h are allocated for Korean traditional music, compared with about 12 h for contemporary Western or classical Western music. About an hour is allocated for the music from other Asian cultures. This is the sorry result of the endeavour of thousands of educators and an enlightened public who have been fighting to increase the amount and availability of Korean traditional music on the nation’s airwaves.


Mathematical Achievement Music Class Korean People Alternative School Western Music 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ki-Beom Jang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Music EducationSeoul National University of EducationSeoulKorea

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