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Canonic Repertoires in Korean Traditional Music

Korean Arts Management Service
Publication Date
  • Department Of Music
  • Musicology


A curious aspect of East Asian artistic production is how an intense period of creativity is followed by an extended period of stasis. Stasis relies on the maintenance of a limited repertoire, as a canon, which derives from material created during the initial period. This contrasts concepts of musical canons elsewhere, and challenges dominant perspectives about musical change and the sustainability of musical genres. This chapter explores canonic repertoires in Korean traditional music, focusing on the quartet, SamulNori, and the genre it developed, samullori.

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