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Korean popular music, its past and the future

Spring 2011

Facilitators Tues,
5:00~6:00pm
Chulhee Lee : Lee880728@gmail.com Morrison 128
Hyuk ki Shim : Harris.Shim@gmail.com

Faculty Advisor

Professor Myra Melford, Music department

Overview

Korean Music is emerging rapidly. Many famous Korean artists release their albums
in neighboring Asian nations like Japan, and China, attracting sensational popularity
in those countries. The Han-Ryu, a term coined to describe this impressive impact of
Korean culture, has now reached to the U.S. For instance, Far Eastern Movement is a
hip hop group with members of Korean and other Asian heritage. Their song, Like a
G6, has been ranked at #1 for 2 weeks on the Billboard Chart. Another Korean
group, JYJ, has appeared on the front page of Billboard Chart website. An
understanding of Korean popular music became ever more relevant in the current
globalized world.

Through this course, our goal is to help students gain more knowledge of Korean
popular music, and its historical trend. For instance, in the 80s, Korea was under
military government, so the songs that were popular during this time were protest
songs. Additionally, we will bring in some of the famous songs from other countries,
like the U.S. and Japan, and compare them with Korean music to see some
similarities and differences between songs in other countries. We will also analyze
some of the Korean hit songs to explore the musical theory behind them, so that
students can also learn about basic music theories, such as chords, song structure,
etc. So by the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the history
of Korean popular music, characteristics of songs in various countries, and the
ability to analyze popular music and its chord progression to create their own music.

Course structure
The course will be two-hours long, consisting of two parts. The first hour is primary
and mandatory, and the second hour is optional. In the primary course, students will
learn about the history of Korean popular music, its development over time, and the
current trend in Korea. As the semester progresses, we will shift our focus on
analysis of chord progressions in Korean popular music. With the primary course,
students will gain enough knowledge to understand Korean popular music with more
in-depth perspective. Students will also develop skills to create their own songs
based on the chord progression of Korean popular music that we will analyze.

In the second part, which is optional, we will focus more on actual playing. Students
with any musical skills are welcomed. In this second session, students can better
understand how chord progressions in popular music operate. We will experiment
with various chord progressions that we have learned in the first hour, and form an
ensemble group to perform the songs that we create. We will also share feedbacks
on each others performance.

Grading
Attendance 10%
5 Quizzes 2% each (total 10%)
Two short analysis papers 20% each (total 40%)
Final Project 40%

You need at least 70% on this course in order to get a Pass.

Attendance is mandatory, unless students have a valid reason for missing the class.
There will be 5 short quizzes throughout the semester. They are designed to see if
students are keeping up with the material. There will be two short analysis papers.
The first paper will be due in the beginning of March, and the second paper will be
due in the end of April. Papers are about 3 pages long, double spaced. First paper
will deal more with the history of Korea and Korean popular music, and the second
paper will deal more with chord progression analysis of Korean popular music.
Lastly, there will be a final project. With all the music theories and chord structures
that will be discussed throughout the semester, students are going to come up with
at least one song to present to the class at the end of the semester. I will announce
more on this as the course progresses.

Course outline

1st week : introduction

2nd week - Korean music in the 80s

- Historical trend : Military regime, strict censorship


- Musical trend : Folk music, emergence of western music influence
- Lyrical trend: songs of protest, freedom, abstract ideas
- Famous artists: Cho Yong-pil, An Chi-Hwan, Kim Gwang-suk, Kim Hyun-sik, lee
mon se,

3rd week - Korean music in the 90s

- Historical trend : Democratization, more open society


- Musical trend : Rock and band music. Slow emergence of Idol Group &
more western style
music with the introduction of Rap
- Lyrical trend : songs criticizing government, defiance to conformity and
conservatism
- Famous artists: Seo Tai-ji, Shin Hae-chul, JYP, H.O.T, Fin.KL, S.E.S, Kim
Dong,ryul, Panic,

4th week - Korean music now

- Historical trend : Industrialization and economic growth


- Musical trend: visual oriented music with more emphasis on profit generating
potential. Increasing popularity of hip-hop, club song. Diminishment of band
groups.
- Lyrical trend : heavy emphasis on love, breakup, party, dance
- Famous artists: Shinhwa, god, BoA, Tong Bang Shin Ki, Wonder girls, Tiara,
F(x), CNBlue, 2AM, 2PM

5th week : the development of musical trend in other countries

- U.S.
- Japan

6th week Basic music theory used in chord progressions of Korean


popular song

- Numbering system
- Major & Minor
- I V VI IV
- First Paper Due

7th week

- No class

8th week - Popular chord progressions

- I V VI IV V
- I V VI V IV I IV V

9th week - Popular chord progressions

- IV V - I
- IV V VI
- IV V III VI
- IV V III VI II V I
- IV I II V I

10th week - Popular chord progressions


- VI IV V I
- VI V IV - V
- VI II V I IV II III

11th week

- Final presentation preparation


- Second paper due

12th week

- Final presentation