Note:This scholarly essay is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of two lecture recitals related to the essay topic.

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Title:Isang Yun's String Quartet No. 1: A performance guide
Author(s):Lee, YooBin
Advisor(s):Haken, Rudolf
Contributor(s):Haken, Rudolf; Freivogel, Elizabeth; Mattax Moersch, Charlotte; Taylor, Stephen
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Subject(s):Isang Yun
String Quartet No. 1
performance practice
string quartet
Korean music
Korean traditional music
Abstract:The first time my quartet read through Isang Yun’s String Quartet No. 1 (1955), my two fellow Korean colleagues and I immediately recognized traditional Korean musical elements. Our colleague with a Western background on the other hand thought that surely Yun’s writing must have been influenced by Ravel. To further thicken the plot, in the preface of String Quartet No. 1 from Boosey & Hawkes, Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer describes Yun’s usage of dotted, Lombard, Siciliano rhythms and certain melodies as influences that came from Bartók. To me it was fascinating to discover that these same elements from Ravel and Bartók also were what made this quartet sound like familiar, nostalgic Korean folk tunes— specifically, Namdo music. Indeed, depending on each listener’s different cultural background, music can be received and experienced in widely varied ways; our quartet rehearsal was the perfect example of this. The goal of this study is to offer a performance guide from the lens of traditional Korean music, so that performers attempting to approach this piece might have the chance to do so from a viewpoint similar to the composer’s.
Issue Date:2021
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 YooBin Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-07-13

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