Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Linda Lister

Second Committee Member

Alfonse Anderson

Third Committee Member

Constancio Arnaldo

Fourth Committee Member

Zane Douglass

Fifth Committee Member

Richard Miller

Number of Pages



This document explores what Gagok (Korean Art Song) consists of, the origins and history of it and how one may approach it musically, vocally and interpret it textually. The main questions I answer in this document include: What makes these art songs distinctly Korean? What significance does the role of Eastern Asian history have in order to closely tie the inspiration of writing Gagok? How does the text and music express these important historical events? The answers to these questions are essential to understanding Gagok by analyzing and interpreting the songs also in relation to approach learning them.

The research of this document is focused on a select set of art songs, briefly examining Nan Pa Hong (1897-1941) and primarily spending more time on the selections by Dong Jin Kim (1913-2009) and Isang Yun (1917-1995), three contrasting Korean composers of three distinct eras. Hong is the pioneer of Korean art song, drawing upon simplicity. Kim’s writing displays a Korean traditional style. He studied in Korea but was influenced by music introduced by Western missionaries. Lastly, Yun’s early writing is also traditional in style but was mainly influenced by Modern Western styles. He spent his later career in Germany in his later years. An overarching question of this document is: How do the origins of the art songs of Nan Pa Hong evolve into further emphasizing the traditional Korean style of Dong Jin Kim? Then, where did Isang Yun venture to compositionally in order to make a deliberate decision to experiment from the conventional traditions? Furthermore, how did all three composers with different influences depict and connect the overall Korean historical structure and identity in music? This document explores and answers these relevant questions for a clearer understanding of Gagok on a deeper level.


Korean Art Song


American Studies | Asian American Studies | Other Music | Theatre and Performance Studies

File Format


File Size

4.2 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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