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Title:Military band musicians on the border: crossing over musical genres in the transnational space of the Korean War
Author(s):Kim, Heejin
Director of Research:Solis, Gabriel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Solis, Gabriel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Abelmann, Nancy A.; Magee, Jeffrey S.; Turino, Thomas R.
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):military music
popular music
military musicians
South Korean military bands
Korean marches
American marches
Korean music
Republic of Korea military
US military
Korean War
Cold War
Abstract:This dissertation examines Korean War period music and explains the musical encounters and developments that resulted from the military collaboration between South Korea (the Republic of Korea) and the United States in the initial stage of the Cold War. In particular, this dissertation looks closely at South Korean military band musicians who played a wide range of music for both military and civilian audiences, crossing over the national and cultural borders between the two countries. Locating their experiences within the South Korean and US military music systems and more broadly within their socio-cultural, historical, and transnational context, I demonstrate that military agents played a significant role as cultural agents in initiating and accelerating transnational musical flow and travels and in shaping musicultural developments in South Korea. These discussions are based on data collected through in-depth interviews with musicians who were active during the Korean War and through archival research both in South Korea and in the US. The analyses of this data are combined with analyses of selected military marches and popular songs written or played in South Korea from 1950 to 1961; they are further interpreted within a conceptual framework based on theories of transnationalism and hybridization and in relation to Korean nationalism. During the Korean War, South Korean military musicians composed and performed Korean military marches as part of the musical nationalism of the South Korean state, while still embracing transnational march forms and practices. During this initial stage of South Korean military march development, the military musicians frequently played John Philip Sousa’s marches rather than their own. Despite their different points of origin both the limited Korean marches and the readily available Sousa marches were remarkably flexible in their ideological functions, able to be employed for both nationalist and transnational politics within the Cold War context. Simultaneously, a dynamic hybridization process in South Korean popular music developed during the Korean War period through encounters with the US military and their music, spurred by the preference for diverse musical expressions and grounded on the compatibility with the historical dimensions of the transnational musicultural formations in Korea and with the ideological and socio-cultural dimensions of 1950s South Korean society.
Issue Date:2013-05-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Heejin Kim
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-28
Date Deposited:2013-05

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