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Stearns Virginia Martin Howard Lecture Series: Hilary Finchum-Sung, Seoul Music Ensemble

Silk, Bamboo, and Wood: The Resonance of Korean Tradition

  1. Saturday January 18 6:00pm
Earl V. Moore Building, Glenn E. Watkins Lecture Hall

Lecture by Hilary Finchum-Sung with performance demo by special guests: Ji-young Yi, A-young Gwak, and Jong-rock Kim.

While K-pop grabs the headlines, the music of Korea’s court and folk traditions sustains an undercurrent of deep cultural roots. This music (generically known as kugak, national music) can be soothing and calm, brash and jarring, mysterious and provocative; it is all the substance of nature and humanity in expressive, resonant form. 

In this lecture, we take you on a journey through the sonorities of Korea’s musical tradition with a focus on four instruments: the 12-string zither, kayagŭm; the large transverse bamboo flute, taegŭm; the two-string spike fiddle, haegŭm; the hourglass-shaped drum, changgu (three of which are present in the Stearns collection). Through presentations of solo and ensemble repertoire, we will explore the sound aesthetics embodied through instrument form as well as the ways by which instrument sound can diversify depending on performance history and context. The presentation is a rare opportunity to experience Korean traditional performance in an accessible and open setting. 

Free - no tickets required