Aspects of the Korean traditional vocal genre,kagok: female kagok and the call for a new integrative kagok notation
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Kagok is a genre of highly refined, traditional, Korean, vocal music, which is now endangered and marginalized in contemporary Korean culture. Female kagok signers (kisaeng) have also been ignored in Korean music society. The aim of this study is to preserve and revitalize kagok, in order to conserve its true nature in a contemporary context, and for the future. This thesis is twofold. The first part shows how the aesthetics of the Chosŏn dynasty are fundamental to kagok's history, and female kagok singers' education. Furthermore, existing kagok scores, written in traditional chŏngganbo notation or in Western staff notation, are examined in this part, and they reveal the need for the creation of a new kagok notation. The second part of the thesis concerns the creation and testing of the New Integrative Kagok Notation (NIKN), which combines the essentials of chŏngganbo and Western staff notation, and provides a more effective vehicle for the transmission, transcription and recording of this art form, particularly for inexperienced, contemporary students.