Award Date

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Lezlie Cross

Second Committee Member

Michael Tylo

Third Committee Member

Nate Bynum

Fourth Committee Member

Ann McDonough

Fifth Committee Member

Linda Lister

Number of Pages



The Korean Cultural Preservation Law of 1962 designated Pansori an important intangible cultural artifact and a symbol of the national culture of the Korean people. The fundamental objective of Korea government’s policy was to promote and to preserve Pansori. However, the pervasiveness of western-style performing arts in Korea undermined the achievement of this objective, especially for the younger generation. The purpose of this study is to explore Pansori, to understand its history, its importance, the reasons underlying its declining popularity, and the reasons behind the need for preserving and promoting its use in modern Korean society. The methodology of this study involved conducting historical research, the researcher’s own experience (taking gugak classes) and interviews with Pansori singers and scholars. The study finds Pansori was important to the Korean traditional culture because it created an understanding and expression of emotions, taught moral values, promoted community cohesion, and entertained the community. However, Pansori is experiencing declining popularity because of inadequacies of Government preservation efforts, the pervasiveness of western-style performing arts and reduced periods to learn Pansori. Still, Pansori is important to preserve because of social reasons (community cohesion and improved international relations with neighbors), economic reasons (a source of employment and improved tourism performance), and cultural reasons (a means of transmitting culture and cultural values across generations). This study recommends reviewing the Korean Cultural Preservation Law of 1962 to balance between preservation and modification of Pansori. The study suggests further study should focus on examining empirical support of the importance of Pansori to inspire Koreans to assist in the promotion and preservation of Pansori.


Gugak Kukak; Korea Traditional Music; Madang; No Fourth Wall; Pansori; Ritual Music


Fine Arts | Music | Theatre and Performance Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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