Korean Pop / Psych / Rock
Intro by Folkie Jin :
" In the history of korean rock music, or even in that of popular music, who can be considered as 'Psychedelic' artists?
Many say this about 'San Ul Rim' who released their first album in 1977. On their early albums between 1977-1979(1st~3rd),we can surely recognize the Psychedelic sounds especially in the long songs like"A-Ni Beol-Seo (It's already!)","A-Ma Neut-Eun Yo-Reum-I-Eot-Eul-Ggeo-Ya (Maybe it was a late summer),"Nae Ma-Eum-E Joo-Dan-Eul Ggal-go (The carpet on my mind), Geu-Dae-Neun I-Mi Na(You are already me).
Like many people said already of the San Ul Rim, they seem to be "fallen from the sky". They had no great relations to the general genealogy of Korean rock music. But in the early days of so-called "Group sound Era", there existed some substances that we could call "Psychedelic".
An example. Shin Joong-Hyun had released some albums which subtitled as "Psychedelic sound" and -no matter what they were titled officially-had shown psychedelic sound.
So, Korean psychedelic scene had Shin Joong-Hyun, who had a so called Korean Rock god-father family tree like the San Ul Rim family and Key boys family, Key brothers (Kim Hong-Tak and Yoon Hang-Gi).
There are also a number of great psychedelic bands in Early 80's in Korea. These bands are Little Giant, Magma, Mu-Dang. Especially you can hear strong fuzz guitar sounds in Little Giant's second album and the only Magma album. I think that Mu-Dang is a Koreanized rock music.
Within the Korean folk scene, it's good to check out the records from Kim Doo Soo, Han Dae-Soo, Yang Hee-Eun.
Han Dae Soo is a called the Korean Bob Dylan, I think that his first and second album is a great folk music. Kim Doo Soo is a great Korean acid folk artist and his all records (1st~4th) are best Korean acid folk music, this acid folk means to only mental meaning and no marijuana!!
Yang Hee-Eun is a called the Korean Joan Baez, especially her second album is a lovely female voice and pastoral folk music with a little Jazz approach. I personally think that the record is a best of best korean female folk music in 1970th Korea."
Authors: Ryu, Donghyup.
The Shaping of Korean Popular Music from 1945 to the 1960s
The Shaping of Korean Popular Music from 1945 to the 1960s Introduction Korean popular music is a field of popular culture where diverse genres are mixed together. In Korea, rock music, jazz, and standard pop from the West and Enka from Japan are enjoying their own popularity as genres of high standing. Korea experienced colonization by Japan (1910-1945) and the presence of the American Army after liberation (1945-Present) in its own territory while it shaped its popular music. Popular music from Japan and America had a huge influence on the formation of Korean popular music, which evolved under these impacts.
A huge influx of foreign popular music genres forced traditional Korean music to dwindle. On the other hand, foreign music was domesticated and modern Korean popular music grew from it. The popular music industry of Korea was devastated while experiencing colonization and the Korean War. However, through economic development and modernization after the Korean War, the Korean popular music industry has made great strides. Korean popular culture has enjoyed popularity all around Asia since the early 2000s. As Korean television series, films and popular music intensified their impact on Asia, including Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the popularity of Korean popular culture has come to be defined as the “Korean wave” or “Hallyu.”
With the popularity of Korean television serial dramas and movies, Korean popular music is spreading widely to various parts of Asia. According to Yoon (2005), American cultural products 1 constitute 75% of Korea’s audiovisual imports, while Japan, Taiwan and China account for 82.3% of Korea’s total audiovisual exports. This data indicates that Korean popular culture is not only disseminating widely to various Asian countries, but also relies heavily on American cultural products.
This phenomenon reflects the reality that Asian audiences are actively receiving Korean popular culture. Paradoxically, in the process of its formation “Korean” popular music, which is received by other Asian audiences, has depended almost entirely on foreign genres like rock, folk, hip hop, and jazz. Korean popular music’s dependence on Western music genres can be addressed by understanding the history of modern Korea. As the US army has been stationed in Korea since the end of World War II, Korea has maintained a close relationship with America both politically and economically. In terms of culture, Korea received American popular music in addition to political and economic influence. In the 1970s and 80s, American-style popular music, such as rock, standard pop, and folk, dominated popular music in Korea. For this reason, it is difficult to explain the formation of Korean popular music without mentioning American influence.
This study attempts to pursue the historical formation process of Korean popular music in its present form. Thus, it is necessary to reveal what policies and institutions greatly influenced the shaping of Korean popular music landscape and to scrutinize the cultural practices within such structured institutions. Prior studies (Park, 2003; Shin, 2004) about Korean popular music 2 tended to describe the American influence on Korean popular music fragmentarily by focusing primarily on rock and folk music’s role in voicing resistance against Korea’s autocratic government. There is not enough historical research or analysis of Korean popular culture. In particular, studies about Korean popular music are not in the form of systematic and scientific analyses, but a collection of documents on popular music of the past. It is broadly believed that modern Korean popular music has been powerfully shaped by American popular music, such as jazz, rock, soul, folk, and rap. However, no music scholar has proved it historically. Many studies focus on the shaping of Korean rock in the 1970s and 1980s in terms of domesticating American rock (Park, 2003; Shin, $2004). These decades are meaningful because the Korean popular music industry b ecame prosperous as its audience increased. Even so, these studies merely described Korean rock as a new phenomenon and enumerate popular musicians depending on media reports. This study will delve into the history of Korean popular music and attempt to unveil the origins of modern Korean popular music.
This paper will explain the social structure relying on examining social institutions and cultural practice which play a major role in fashioning modern Korean popular music, rather than texts, such as the lyrics of songs. Modernity and Cultural Imperialism in South Korea In the process of forming Korean popular culture, modernity holds a very important position. With the importation of Western culture, the concept of modernity was also introduced to Korea. Korean people have internalized 3 Western values and popular culture, since the late 19th century. Korea’s encounter with modernity was mediated through Japanese imperialism. While ruling Korea, Japan, which was an active recipient herself, tried to inject Western values into Korean people. Modernity was both a symbolic force to destroy Korean tradition and an outcome of the advancement of society during colonization. “Modernity” to modes of social life or organization which emerged in Europe from about the 17th century onwards and which subsequently became more or less worldwide in their influence” (Giddens, 1990, p.1). Williams contends that while “modern” was defined as discontinuity from tradition, “modern” became virtually equivalent to improved, satisfactory or efficient in the 20th century Williams, 1983, pp. 208-209). In Korea, modernity was perceived very positively as representing Western civilization. According to Shin (2003), “In colonized Korea Western music was still a symbol of ‘something modern’ or an ‘intellectual thing.’ Among intellectuals at the time, it was generally agreed that, while folk songs and popular songs were past-oriented and sang of death and sadness, jazz and Italian folk songs were future-oriented and sang about joy” (pp. 150- 151).
In the 1930s, “modern” already meant the state of being sophisticated and developed. Even before the full-scale introduction of Western music, among intellectuals there was a positive perception about and aspiration for “modern” Western music. On the ground of positive perception about modernity, cultural imperialism could be proliferated in Korea. 4 Beltran (1978) claims “cultural imperialism is a verifiable process of social influence by which a nation imposes on other countries its set of beliefs, values, knowledge and behavioral norms as well as its overall style of life” (p. 184). Unlike imperialism by physical and direct political control, cultural imperialism means rule by symbolic control mechanisms. Schiller (1992) claims that present cultural imperialism is realized by America. As Schiller argues, “The dollar and physical volumes of the outputs of the US cultural industries flowing into the international market are higher than they were then” (Schiller, 1992, p.12). Schiller’s argument reflects the reality that American media are encroaching more and more upon European and Asian media landscapes. By solidifying American cultural imperialism through the dissemination of American popular culture, America incessantly secures its dominating position in the world market. Thanks to the positive image of modernity, American popular music was consumed actively among elite stratum in Korea. Unlike imperialism reinforcing its position by political power, cultural imperialism reinforces its influencing power through cultural products. From the landscape of Korean popular music in the Japanese colonial era, Korean traditional music all but went underground through direct control of the Japanese colonial government. Japanese-style popular music replaced the function once held by Korean traditional music.
After Korea was liberated from the state of a colony, America succeeded Japan and she strengthened her superior position in Korea more implicitly through cultural imperialism. The 5 Trot music, which was influenced by Japanese Enka, was thence deprived of its initiative in the field of Korean popular music, while rock, jazz and folk music from America appealed to a wide range of Korean audiences, especially elite and college students. However, the change from Japanese to American influence was achieved over a relatively long time with the gradual transformation of “cultural taste.” The elite stratum accepted American style earlier than the general public did. Thus, for a long time the Korean taste for American style had to compete with the general public’s taste for Japanese style. Contestation between American and Japanese Music During colonization Japan’s national identity eradication policy systematically weakened Korean traditional culture. Although farmers’ folk band music and folk songs did not be completely rooted out, court music became almost extinct during Japan’s destruction policy. Korean court music, which took pride in a profound tradition, had to dwindle with the collapse of the Chosun Dynasty. Many musicians and dancers who had participated in feasts of court had to change their profession and perform in new concert halls. As a result, ceremonial music for the Royal house was eradicated and the number of court musicians rapidly decreased. For example, the number of musicians decreased from 772 in 1894 to about 50 in 1917 as a result of the Japanese policy of erasing indigenous culture (http://user.chollian.net/~chun4270). Korean traditional music suffered again due to an influx of Western music and the establishment of Western military bands. Performance of traditional music in public was restricted. Performing Korean traditional music was banned.
Only Kwonbun, 6 which was a union of Gisaeng (a professional entertainer of Korea), was allowed to perform traditional music. Like court music, farmers’ folk band music was also restricted. In essence, farmers’ folk band music was a native custom to pray for the prosperity of a village and a good harvest. Since farmers’ folk band music usually accompanied an exorcism, it was banned on the pretext of abolishing superstition. Luckily, farmers’ folk band music was not demolished, but it declined in quantity and was partly damaged in the period of colonization. Farmers’ folk band music collapsed decisively in quantity and quality since full-scale industrialization started. In particular, in the early 1970s, on the pretext of pre-modern superstition, guardian trees, which were a spiritual prop of many towns and things used in exorcism, were destroyed.
In addition, administrative pressure was given in order to prevent people from playing farmers’ folk band music and performing the exorcism ceremony. Thus farmers’ folk band music’s spirit, which had been internalized in the lives of people, lost its voice and the music has become just one of the tourist attractions that can be seen in the Folk Village (an imitation village based on traditional houses). In addition, folk songs, another popular music form, were also oppressed by Japan’s national identity eradication policy. Japan had enforced the national identity eradication policy more strongly as it started a full-scale Asian invasion. Japan launched a sweeping campaign to eradicate Korean national identity under the slogan that Japan and Korea would 7 be one entity. According to Lee (1984), “Novelists, poets and other creative writers were forced to produce their works in Japanese, and in the end it was even required that Japanese be exclusively used in the schools and in Korean homes” (p. 353).
Radio broadcasting was changed from a combined use of Korean and Japanese to the exclusive use of Japanese. Japan prohibited the use of Korean language even in everyday life and all songs tinctured with something Korean had been banned. The oppressive cultural policy of imperialist Japan was so effective that court music, farmers’ folk band music and folk songs had lost their popular foundation. Enka, which had been imported from Japan, occupied the space created by the collapse of the court music, farmers’ folk music, and folk songs. The music field, whose tradition had been interrupted, was laid vulnerable to the rapid influx of foreign music. With the help of its repressive policy toward Korean traditional music, Japanese Enka was implanted successfully in Korea, and this Enka became domesticated under the name of Trot. As the music industry developed, Trot, which is based on the Japanese “Yonanuki minor,” had become the general music trend of the time. The popularity of Trot is shown in the fact that the album Hawngung Yetu (Remains of a Royal Palace) sold 50,000 copies. Considering the market size in 1932, selling 50,000 copies was a huge success. Trot grew with the development of the music industry and radio. While there were 20,562 radios in 1932, the number of radios exceeded 221,000 in the late 1930s and over 300,000 after 8 liberation (Lee, 1998, p. 247).
Since 1927 Columbia, Victor and Polydor had founded their branches in Korean and Japanese recording companies. There were recording companies launched by Koreans, but they did not last long. An article in a monthly music magazine in 1935 reported that the number of gramophone owners in Korea had reached 300,000. This figure shows the increase of the audience and rapid development in the music recording industry. The prosperity of Trot was reflected in sales. 100,000 copies of Cheonyo Chonggak (1930, Columbia), 50,000 copies of Tears in Mokpo (1935, Nanyoung Lee, Okeh records) and 100,000 copies of Don’t Cry, Hongdo (1939, Youngchoon Kim, Columbia) were sold. Trot music was evolved constantly into new styles and kept its popularity even after liberation. The introduction of foreign music was not so difficult because traditional music had lost its popular foundation. With the opening of harbors to the outer world, Western music, including American, began to enter Chosun, the name of Korea at that time. As Lee (1998) claims, “Western music introduced by Western missionaries and via Japan was disseminated through churches and the modern education system” (p. 116). Western music, including hymns, was received actively and naturally with the success of Protestant evangelism. As Yoo (2001) argues, “with the unprecedented and miraculous success of Protestant evangelism in Korea, with its well-known prosperous ‘New World’ image, with its modern sense of jazz music, and with its compelling and most favored entertainment of Hollywood movies to the colonized Koreans, America continuously provided popular culture” (p. 421).
Yoo showed that American 9 modernization began to be received by colonial Korea and it influenced the body of individual and media consumption. By the mid-1930s, students, youngsters and intellectuals were fascinated by jazz music and motion pictures from Japan, which received Western civilization before Korea; this did not prevent the introduction of American popular culture. Rather, Japan encouraged companies to invest in the culture industry to deliver modern values to Korean people. However, after the mid-1930s,
Japan prevented American movies from playing and concentrated on promoting Japanese popular culture, because Japan planned to the war against Western countries including America. Since Korean people had had the experience of appreciating Western music through church music and jazz before liberation, they received Western music without much resistance or sense of rejection. The stationing of the US Army after liberation was a critical point of introducing new foreign music on a full scale. Nevertheless, it was not until the 1960s that Western pop music was popularized in Korea. The process of Western popular music overwhelming the popularity of Trot music was not instantaneous. Musical taste for Japanese- style, which had been formed during the 36-year period of colonization, did not change easily. The powerful impact of American popular music grew gradually in the Trot-dominated landscape of popular music. American popular music was only for an elite stratum and professional musicians. Trot, the music implanted in the Japanese colonial era, and American popular music, which entered with the US Army after liberation, confronted each other. The general public’s enjoyment of Trot and elite stratum’s enjoyment of American pop 10 music reflects the duality of the musical landscape during a time marked by foreign music.
Before the late 1960s, when American popular culture was accepted by the general public, this dual structure was maintained in the Korean popular music market.
The United States’ Cultural Policy The US occupation of South Korea has been the subject of close scholarly scrutiny because of its immense impact on the subsequent development of Korean society. Until now many studies about the relationship between Korea and the US have concentrated largely on political and economic aspects, regarding cultural aspects as auxiliary (Kim, 2000). However, the present study primarily intends to analyze cultural relations between Korea and America, especially in the context of Korean popular music. The three-year American rule (1945-1947) over Korea opened the way for American popular culture to permeate every corner of the country. However, America exerted cultural policies to assimilate Korea, not only economically and politically but also culturally.
To get rid of Japanese-styled music, the American military government included American and European classical music in music textbooks and ordered radio stations to broadcast American popular music for two hours each day. American popular music was not introduced naturally through the market. During its ruling period from 1945 to 1948, the American military government implemented a cultural policy biased toward American culture. It is a dominant 11 opinion in American diplomatic history or cultural history field that historically America did not have systematic and consistent cultural or public informational policy (Blum, 1963; Coombs 1964).
American cultural policy was explicitly based on “reciprocity”, the purpose of which is the promotion of free cultural trade among countries, and “humanitarianism”, which means the cultural enlightenment of the third-world countries. However, contrary to these stated ideas, the foreign cultural policy of America fundamentally has been aimed at maximizing the influence of political power in international societies from the start, and this orientation emerged to the surface with the advent of World War II. In particular, in the process of fighting World War II, “In any event the wartime educational and cultural effort was dwarfed by the information programs, which were more closely tied to the war itself” (Coombs, 1964, p. 27). This argument represented the position of the American government.
The American military government led the distribution of American culture based on an elaborate cultural policy. As Kyun Kim (2000) argues, “In the early stage, in terms of contents, American foreign cultural policy focused on the trade of high culture aiming at intellectual elites of the third world. Geographically, American cultural policy was mainly aimed at South American countries. However, since the early 1940s the arena of cultural diplomacy was extended around the whole world” (p. 46).
The range of policy incorporated the distribution of American movies and music, dissemination and publication of American books, the founding of American cultural centers and education institutes in that area, etc. According to Kim (2000), “Internal 12 documents of the American Department of State recommend the active utilization of mass media, such as newspapers, radios, and movies, so that foreigners can understand the lives of Americans” (p. 49). By the same token, the American military government tried to plant American values in Koreans, setting Korea, with its close proximity to communist countries, as a main strategic post against communism. The formation of a positive attitude toward America and the American way of life became a consistent policy of the American military government. Radio played a big role in diffusing American popular culture.
Because the broadcasting industries for music in Korea were poorly developed, the rich variety of American’s thriving popular music scene satisfied elite audiences after liberation. The cultural policy of the American military government was not merely focused on the benefits of control and their short- term political effects, but also was a part of a huge plan of Americanization, which had been developing since the 1930s and was aimed at the whole world.
The underlying plan involved a connection between the American government and capitalists who perceive culture as a powerful weapon to achieve political and economic goals. In other words, the cultural policy of the American military government was a joint work of the American government, which tried to preserve continuous political influence on Korea by implanting America’s ideals and way of life, and American capitalists, who wanted to pioneer a new market and to maintain its dominance in market. 13 After the liberation, most Koreans expected the last vestiges of Japanese colonies would be cleared from their country.
The American military government entered South Korea and announced that it would abolish all vestiges of imperialist Japan. However, this aspect of America’s plan was not enacted. There was no effort to clear Japanese vestiges, and Korean traditional culture was not represented. Over half of the songs in music textbooks for elementary schools made under American military government were based on Japanese musical scales, and over half the songs in music textbooks for junior high schools were songs made with Western musical scales (Kim, 2002. p. 113).
Music textbooks were full of songs made from Japanese and Western musical scales without traditional Korean songs. This reality seems to have resulted from liberation not by Koreans but by the Allies. In the area of popular music, the situation was similar. Instead of Japanese music, American music was considered to be modern music. Liberation just changed the source of music from Japan to the United States. The Eighth US Army’s show and AFKN After the three-year American rule over Korea, America continued to dominate the Korean popular music industry through media and cultural practices like the “Eighth US Army’s Show.” The size of the American army increased as the headquarters of the Eighth US Army moved to Seoul on July 26th 1955. In order to satisfy the cultural wants of American soldiers, the performance troop of the USO (United Services Organizations) visited and performed often. Entertainers like Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Mathis, Gene 14 Russell, and Ann Margaret were some of the prominent members of the performance troop. However, the long-term involvement of American entertainers was impossible to sustain in Korea because of their wide popularity. Therefore, the Eighth US Army instituted systematic consolatory performances by employing Korean musicians. This was the origin of the Eighth US Army’s Show.
The Eighth US Army’s show was not a temporary consolatory performance under the particular circumstance of the war, but a system requiring a continuous supply of Korean musicians for the American military audience, which was frequently mobilized. Big band-style show troops, which were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, were established so as to satisfy the various tastes of American soldiers. A band made up of drum, bass, guitar, piano, trumpet, trombone, and saxophone with a band leader was the mainstream of the Eighth US Army’s show. Korean bandleaders modeled after Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Billy Vaughn of America were operating their own bands. While a band was the center of Eighth US Army’s Show, the show was a sort of variety show incorporating comedy, songs, dance, and magic. A band was an integral part of such a show troop and the show troop was registered as ‘an importer of service’ in the Ministry of Commerce. In 1957, Hwayang, the first show troop, was created, and it was followed by show troops of Universal, Samjin, Gongyoung, Daeyoung, etc (Shin, 2005, p. 25-26). These show troops 15 were entertainment companies taking exclusive charge of the Eighth US Army’s show. There were as many as 264 stages where the Eighth US Army’s shows were held, and those appearing in the US Eighth Army’s Show could earn a guaranteed yearly income of a whopping $1.2 million (the total for all performers), at a time when the cumulative value of South Korea’s yearly exports was no more than about $1 million (Kang, 1998, pp. 149-154).
The US sent committee members to audition Korean musicians for the Eighth Army Show. The committee managed show troops systematically through auditions. The Eighth US Army auditioned every three to six months, issued registration cards, and offered ranks. Committee members who took charge of the auditions were the music experts sent from the Pentagon (Shin, 2005, p. 27).
The standards of the auditions were very strict and the competition was also very intense. Even though show troops passed the audition, they had to audition again after the expiration date of their registration cards. Therefore, show troops practiced assiduously to maintain these positions, which not only formed a great portion of the work available to Korean musicians, but paid much better than the jobs they could have had under other conditions in Korea. Many Korean musicians adapted quickly by learning American jazz idioms from the radio so that they could pass the competitive auditions and work in the show troop’s big bands. Many qualified Korean musicians were inspired to imitate American popular musicians because the show’s popularity hinged on how similar Korean 16 musicians performances were to American performers. Korean singers performed popular music in the Eighth US Army Show. The singers had to imitate American singers to entertain US soldiers: Heejoon Choi/Nat King Cole, Patti Kim/Patti Page, Jooyong Yoo/Frank Sinatra, Sangkook Kim/Louis Armstrong and Hyungjoon Park/Perry Como. Their popularity was dependent on the degree to which they were similar to American singers. Hyungsup Shim, who was an active musician in Eighth US Army Show says, “Since only songs popular among American soldiers were selected for performance, I used to practice American hit songs listening to recordings from AFKN’s Top 10” (www.weiv.co.kr).
Musicians had to imitate American popular musicians continuously, and in this process they acquired the way of American popular music naturally. Musicians of the Eighth US Army’s Show had to learn various musical genres. Clubs of the Eighth US Army did not have the same characteristics, so the musical tastes were different according to the ranks. Based on ranks, clubs of the Eighth US Army were divided into officers’ clubs, NCO clubs and EM clubs. In addition, there were white clubs and black clubs based on race. Since musical preference was different depending on clubs, musicians had to change their specialty genres very often. Thanks to this need for adaptation, musicians from the Eighth US Army’s Show were trained as all- around musicians who could digest all genres such as rock, jazz, blues, and country music.
Along with the Eighth Army’s Show, the AFKN (American Forces Korean 17 Network) started its broadcasting in 1957, while the first Korean TV station opened in 1961, except for HLKZ-TV, which was established for distributing RCA television shows in 1956. The AFKN has been a major channel for disseminating American popular music. The Eighth US Army’s Show and the AFKN have played a significant role in encouraging Korean musicians to internalize an American musical style and ultimately form Korean popular culture according to American cultural norms. Since the Korean War, American popular culture had come into Korea substantially through the AFKN and the Eighth US Army’s Show. The AFKN is a Korean branch of the AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio and Television Service). The AFKN started to deliver military-related news and to entertain US soldiers in 1950. The AFKN has had a big influence on Korean broadcasting that began with the first TV broadcasting in Korea. AFKN TV had occupied VHF channel 2, which has best picture quality and it didn’t return to a VHF channel until 1996. The AFKN had been aired on a VHF channel only in Korea, and from there broadcast to 26 countries where the AFRTS was established. Since a TV set without special antenna was sufficient to watch the AFKN, most Koreans could watch the AFKN with good picture reception and without specialized equipment.
18 <Picture 1. Mechanism of AFKN Broadcasting>
As the KBS (Korean Broadcasting System, one of Korea’s public broadcasting companies) began its first TV broadcasting in 1961, singers could have various stages to sing on. In the 1960s, westernized and sophisticated singers from the Eighth US Army show replaced grieving Trot singers. Singers from the Eighth US Army show and college-educated singers took the lead in spreading Western popular music. In this period, music style changed from Japanese to American. After the 1960s, Trot gradually declined and the popularity was confined to 19 older generations. The influence of the AFKN was not limited to the arena of music, but extended to the contents and forms of broadcasting programs. In the early stage of broadcasting, TV shows imitated the variety shows of the Eighth US Army’s show, and many singers of TV shows were singers whose experience stemmed from the Eighth US Army’s Show. Minyoung Song, who had been a famous bandleader of the Eighth US Army’s Show, worked as a bandleader of the KBS. Korean television broadcasting started under very poor conditions and could not escape from the impact of the AFKN. Television became an important medium in Korea for distribution of American popular music, which had been enjoyed only by an elite audience. The general public who saw a new-style show was excited about American popular music. In the 1960s, it was common practice that singers sang either American popular music in English or adapted American songs in Korean. Now audiences were able to enjoy performances that they watched on the AFKN through Korean broadcasting in the comfort of their homes. Whereas the Eighth US Army’s Show influenced musicians more directly than the general audience, the AFKN had a direct influence on audiences.
In addition to the direct influence from the AFKN, the Eighth US Army’s Show had an indirect influence on the audience with the advent of musicians from the Eighth US Army’s Show, who transferred their talents to the medium of Korean TV. The Eighth US Army’s Show was the field of training for the advance guard 20 which infiltrated Korean popular culture landscape at the same time it served as consolatory shows for American soldiers. On the other hand, the AFKN was a window through which the audience could meet American popular culture directly without any interruption. Youngsters who grew up with the AFKN came to have a new cultural sensibility. If the Eighth US Army’s Show was the field for training music makers into American style musicians, the AFKN played an important role in changing sensibilities of music producers and consumers. Cultural Capital and US Popular Culture The “cultural capital” of Bourdieu is the essential concept that can be used to address the cause of the popularity of Japanese and American popular music in Korea. According to Bourdieu (1986), “The notion of cultural capital initially presented itself to me, in the course of research, as a theoretical hypothesis which made it possible to explain the unequal scholastic achievement of children originating from the different social classes by relating academic success, i.e., the specific profits which children from the different classes and class fractions can obtain in the academic market, to the distribution of cultural capital between the classes and class fractions” (p. 244).
Cultural capital is the knowledge and taste obtained from education, and it is closely related to economic capital. Children from the upper class can obtain cultural capital very easily by using economic capital. The obtained cultural capital can be easily transformed into economic capital. While Bourdieu mentioned educational credentials and upscale arts as cultural capital, cultural capital appeared differently depending on a society. In Korea, Western arts and knowledge have 21 served as cultural capital. Accordingly, more artists were willing to learn Western-style arts or to study abroad. While Bourdieu mentioned educational credentials and upscale arts as cultural capital, cultural capital appeared differently depending on a society. In the field of Korean popular music, American popular music performed the role of cultural capital. Korea was destroyed by the Korean War and thus entirely dependent on America politically, economically, and militarily. Considering the political and economic situation between America and South Korea, the influx of American popular culture was a natural phenomenon. American popular culture was delivered through the radio, television, and various shows. Due to the overlapped image of “a saver of liberation” and “an allied country,”
American popular music was received easily without rejection. In addition, modern American popular music was perceived as a more sophisticated higher culture than Korean popular songs. At the same time, the perception that Japanese-style Trot was a low culture started to emerge in the general public. Some Koreans were reluctant to enjoy Trot because of anti- Japanese sentiment. With the passage of time, in the people’s mindset, Trot was considered low-class and American popular culture was considered to be more chic. Korean aspiration for American culture was greatly apparent in the songs. Songs from late the 1940s to early 50s were expressing blind desire for the Western 22 culture, in particular American culture. Popular examples included songs like Shoeshine Boy (1947), San Francisco (1952), America Chinatown (1953) and Arizona Cowboy (1955). Once Korea had been liberated from imperialist Japan, Korean popular culture quickly became infiltrated by Western culture. In those days,
Koreans thought that Western modernity would be a guiding light for a new better life. This hope was reinforced with AFKN and activities of singers in Eighth US Army’s show. Korean people who were reluctant to enjoy Japanese song due to the Japanese colonial experience did not reject American popular culture regarding it as modern, romantic or the image of savior. Instead, Koreans willingly accepted American popular culture, in contrast to the experience of the Japanese in Korea, who forcibly replaced Korean music with Japanese music. Among Korean popular musicians, knowledge of American popular music was cultural capital during the age of Eighth US Army’s Show. Musicians from the Eighth US Army’s Show tended to ignore musicians from other stages and to show off their superiority. After singers from the Eighth US Army’s Show came to the stage of Korean shows, they enjoyed great popularity there and they were always proud of having been involved with the Eighth US Army’s Show. Singers from the Eighth US Army’s Show had enjoyed cultural power and authority since launch of the show. They were usually given hospitable treatment on a general stage. After the 1960s, the popularity of Trot declined rapidly and singers who originated from the Eighth US Army’s Show dominated Korean popular music market through television, radio, performances and recordings. 23 As a great honor, the title of “singers from the Eighth US Army’s Show” guaranteed general popularity on stage, TV or radio. As American popular music acquired popularity, the musicians from the Eighth US Army’s Show acquired economic capital as well. As Bourdieu (1984) claims, cultural capital could be transformed into economic capital. With the help of American cultural imperialism, American popular music could obtain the status of cultural capital in Korean society. As a result of the American government’s active dissemination of their popular culture to occupy new markets, American popular culture is enjoying worldwide popularity now. The dominance of American popular music created economic profits and musicians from the Eighth US Army’s Show reaped the economic benefits as well. In the world of Korean popular music an understanding of American popular music worked not only as cultural capital but also the means of elucidating the positive side of modernity. Conclusion American popular music acquired its hegemony within a relatively short time period after Korea’s liberation. It obtained a victory in the battle with Japanese style Trot and became popular with people.
American popular music benefited from positive perceptions about modern values in the process of obtaining hegemony.
While Korean audiences had received modernity through the mediation of Japan, they directly experienced modern values in American popular culture after liberation. American popular music containing modern 24 values acquired the status of cultural capital. Learning American popular music and having modern values became a goal of Korean popular musicians.
The AFKN and the Eighth US Army’s show played a huge role in transforming Korean audiences’ taste from Japanese-style music to American-style music. Although the Eighth US Army’s Show and the AFKN were established for consoling American soldiers, they also functioned as a window for disseminating American popular culture to Korea. Eighth US Army’s show that mobilized numerous Korean popular musicians served as a “school” of American popular music.
Musicians who learned music through the Eighth US Army’s Show professed themselves as missionaries to introduce American popular culture on TV. The AFKN played an active role in transforming the general public’s taste toward American style. American popular culture was received naturally through the Eighth US Army’s Show and the AFKN due to the close relationship between America and Korea. Generally, the taste of people does not change easily, but the taste of the Korean general public after liberation changed very radically. The US army operated Eighth US Army’s Show by hiring Korean elite musicians and offering them favorable salaries, and it changed the taste of musicians very easily. At the same time, it provided unlimited American popular music through AFKN radio and TV in Korea where the broadcasting facilities were in their infancy. Audiences became familiar with American music, although they could not understand the lyrics, by being exposed to it continuously. The economic and political power 25 enabled cultural taste to be changed. By using its economic capital, America could transform American popular music into cultural capital in Korea.
26 References Beltran, L. R. (1978). Communication and cultural domination: USA- Latin America case. Media Asia, 5. 183-192. Blum, R. (1963). Cultural affairs and foreign relations. Englewood Cliffs N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In John Richardson (ed). Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. New York: Greenwood Press. Chunpa. (1921). The western suit is allowed while those who wearing traditional clothing is kicked out, Kaebyok, 17. 83-84. Coombs, P. H. (1964). The fourth dimension of foreign policy. New York: Harper & Row. Giddens, A. (1994) Beyond Left and Right. Cambridge: Polity Press Giddens, A. (1990). The consequences of modernity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Kim, J. (2002). A study on Music Education and Textbook Under US Military Government. Master’s dissertation. Cheongjoo, Korea: Korea National University of Education. Kang, N. (1998). Japanese and Korean musical note. Tokyo: Iwanami Shinsho. Kim, K. (2000). US cultural policy and occupied Korea. Korean Journalism, 44(3). 40-75. Kim, Y. “Industry trend: Reality and Problems of Broadcasting Hallyu in 2004” KBI news April 2005 Korean Broadcasting Institute. Lee, K. (1984). A new history of Korea. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University 27 Press. Lee, S. (2000). Popular music and everyday culture in colonial Korea. Master’s Dissertation. Seoul: Korea. Yonsei University. Lee, Y. (1998). A history of Korean popular music. Seoul: Korea. Sikongsa Press. Paik, N. (2000). Colonaility in Korea and a South Korean project for overcoming modernity. Interventions, 2(1). 73-86. Park, G. (2003). Plantation and independence: Development & completion of Korean modern folk music, 1968-1975. Master’s thesis, Seoul: Dankook Univerity. Schiller, H. I. (1992). Mass communications and American empire. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Shin, H. (2005). The archaeology of Korean popular music in the 1960s. Seoul: Hangilart. Shin, S. (2004). The formation of Korea rock music and its resurrection by Joonghyun Shin, 1960-1975. Master’s thesis, Seoul: Dankook University. Shin, M. (2003). A Modern Boy Strolls along Street of Kyongsong, Seoul, Korea: Hyunsil Munhwas Yeongu 2003 Swartz, D. (1997). Culture & power: The sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Therborn, G. (1995). European Modernity and Beyond, Cambridge: Polity Press Wallerstein, I. (1996). After Liberalism, New York: The New Press Wallerstein, I. (1997). Eurocentrism and its avatars: The dilemmas of social 28 science. New Left Review, 226. 93-107. Williams, R. (1983). Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. New York: Oxford University Press. Yoon, J. (2005). “Report: Scheme of Promoting the Marketing of Korean Broadcasting Contents in Foreign market”, KBI News. Oct. 2005 Yoo, S. (2001). Embodiment of American modernity in colonial Korea. Inter- Asia Cultural Studies, 2(1). 421- 441. http://user.chollian.net/~chun4270/kohis/kohistory7.htm http://www.weiv.co.kr 29
A bit more info (in the light of shaping of K-Pop after years of sensorsip after adding genres like allad and dance music since the 80s) :
50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists Series: Introduction & Brief History
[Series Index] It’s finally here – the much-anticipated 50 Most Influential K-Pop Artist Series. This series will be about the influence on pop culture that K-pop artists had, not about who is the “greatest,” “most popular,” or “most innovative.” Of course an artist can be influential by being original, but originality alone is not the determinant of where a particular artist ranks. Rather, the rank of a particular artist will depend on the answer to this question: “How much influence did the artist(s) have on Korean pop culture?” The influence can be both direct and indirect. The artist can be influential by being directly in the public consciousness for a decade, or by being influencing other artists who collectively changed the faces of Korean pop culture. In other words, this ranking has room for a short-lived innovator who was little known among Korean public, as long as the innovator influenced many other artists who in turn influenced Korean pop culture. This ranking also has room for a hugely popular K-pop artist whose music might be considered cheap and banal, as long as that popularity influenced Korean pop culture somehow. Important part is that “influence” can be generated not simply from performing music, but also from other music-related activities. This is very significant for a number of people who are ranked, because they exerted influence on Korean pop culture as producers, composers, radio and TV show hosts, etc. However, for completely arbitrary reasons, the Korean limited the ranking to people who actually did some singing. (One can argue that the greatest Laker ever is the team owner Jerry Buss, but most people would think of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant first.) Before we get into the actual rankings, some history lesson is in order because K-pop in the current form that is popular around the world (and therefore mostly known to AAK! readers) revolves around boy/girl bands. In fact, the word “K-pop” at this point may have come to mean only Korean boy/girl bands instead of Korean pop music in general. But for the purpose of this series, K-pop is used to mean “Korean popular music,” i.e. commercially recorded music for the purpose of being consumed by the general public, which would exclude Korean traditional music or classical music. At any rate, K-pop is much, much more than boy/girl bands. It has a short but rich history that acutely reflects Korea’s modern history. In fact, the history of K-pop as a whole can be fascinating narrative of how cultural transplantations operate, and how creativity flowers even in the face of constricting forces – be it political, social, or commercial. Brief History of K-Pop K-Pop Genre Influence Chart Here is what will be known as the Korean’s most important contribution to K-pop critique. Introducing… K-Pop Genre Influence Chart.
First, about the technical details. Each decade (except for 1960s) has three columns, which stands for “early,” “middle” and “late” decade. In other words, the first column under 1990s means “early 1990s.” There are 20 rows, which each row representing roughly 5 percent. So if “hard rock” in the late 1990s takes up two rows, it means that hard rock had about 10 percent influence out of all available Korean pop music at that time. This chart is necessary in order to put a given artist’s place in history in perspective. The Korean can talk about the greatest Korean heavy metal band of the late 1980s, but what does that mean? How does the greatest Korean heavy metal band of the late 1980s compare to the greatest Korean rapper in early 2000s in terms of influence? Of course, like everything else on this blog, this chart is arbitrary and capricious to the Korean’s whim. Everything on the chart is the Korean’s estimates and nothing scientific. Also, the six genres represented in the chart may be too broad and crude. For example, it does not include electronica/techno, and instead folds the genre into different broadly defined categories, mostly depending on the target audience. BUT, that does not mean the chart is completely off the reservation. The Korean generally knows what he is talking about, and much thought and research (via Internet, books and asking the Korean’s friends) went into creating this chart. The Korean is confident that while people may quibble with details of the chart, the broad strokes of the chart are correct. With the chart in front of us, let us dive into the brief history of K-pop by decade (with videos!), after the jump. Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-1960s The chart starts at late 1960s because there was no truly meaningful Korean “pop culture” to speak of previous to that time. But Korea did have pop singers previous to 1960s. In the 1920s, Korean traditional singers who were trained in pansori (판소리) would sing popular Japanese songs in Korean. This is generally considered the first Korean “pop song” in the strictest definition (i.e., commercially recorded music for the purpose of being consumed by the general public.) These singers include Do Wol-Saek (도월색), Kim San-Wol (김산월) and Yoon Shim-Deok (윤심덕). Such singers like Nam In-Su (남인수) or Baeknyeonseol (백년설) who were hugely popular during the 1930s and 40s. The dominant music form in that era is what is broadly called trot (트로트), represented with orange in the chart. Trot is a Japanese adaptation of Foxtrot, a dance form popular in the United States in the 1920s. Trot has a distinctive 1-2 beat that you can clearly hear underlying the song, presented the video below. (Among Koreans, trot is also derisively called ppong-jjak (뽕짝), which is an onomatopoeia mimicking the 1-2 beat.) The song is by Lee Meeja, called Lady Camellia (동백아가씨) – one of the most popular Korean trot songs ever. Korea gained independence from the Imperial Japan’s rule in 1945, and underwent the devastating Korean War shortly afterward. Understandably, pop culture in Korea – what meager form of it there was prior to 1950s – was at a standstill for the better part of 1950s. But the American involvement in Korean War would go on to serve as a massive influence on Korean pop culture. 1960s Elvis Presley popularized rock n’ roll in the late 1950s, and the same craze would eventually reach Korea in the form of USO tours for the American GIs stationed in Korea. Many Korean pop artists cut their teeth by playing for American soldiers stationed in Korea, and playing undercard in USO tours. Eventually, Korean pop artists began to develop popular rock music with a distinctive Korean flair. Here is an example of such song: Woman in the Rain (빗속의 여인) by Shin Joong-Hyeon (신중현), which is arguably Korea’s first rock song. However, as the chart indicates, the dominance of trot will stay on for quite some time. Rock music of 1960s is marked green in the chart, and labeled as “folk rock”. This is really a misnomer, because “folk rock” is a name that was coined in the 1970s to indicate the hippie-influenced, Beatles-like rock music, characterized by unadorned guitar sound. However, because Korean rock music in the 1960s did not really have its own name, the Korean labeled it with the trend that the 1960s Korean rock music eventually led to – especially because simply calling it “rock” would be misleading. 1970s The Beatles and America’s hippie culture made its way to Korea, and just as well – because Korea in the 1970s had plenty to rebel against. The generation that was born after Korea’s independence and came of age in the 1970s made folk rock increasingly popular. Here is an example of a popular folk rock song: Morning Dew (아침이슬) by Kim Min-Gi (김민기), sung by another folk rock legend Yang Hee-Eun (양희은): However, the gradual enrichment of Korean pop culture would come to an abrupt halt in mid-1970s. As the Park Chung-Hee dictatorship solidified its rule, it began cracking down on pop music that it considered “rebellious.” Many famous rockers were sent to prison with trumped up, half-true charges of “disturbing societal morals.” All albums had to be reviewed by the government prior to their release, and certain songs and albums were banned. Many non-Korean music was also banned. (This practice continued until 1996.) All albums also had to include at least one “wholesome song” (건전가요) that, for the most part, was a fatuous ode to Korea’s (and by extension the dictatorship’s) greatness. (This truly absurd practice continued until 1987.) Many singers caved in and neutered their songs of any social content, and regressed into only singing dumb love songs. Some few, however, continued to resist and went so far as to release albums on their own without going through the government review, in the face of arrest and torture. Their songs would go on to become the anthems of resistance for those who fought against the dictatorship. 1980s 1970s ended with Park Chung-Hee’s death, but his dictatorship was swiftly replaced by another, which engaged in an oppression that was no less restrictive. In the early 1980s, the continued softening of folk rock led to its logical conclusion and the birth of a new genre – what Koreans refer to as “ballad” (marked as yellow in the chart.) Ballad is a brand of soft rock/jazz/R&B that relies on simple tunes and, admittedly, a good singing voice. But ballad is more often made distinctive by its saccharine lyrics, singing almost exclusively about love in the mindless, desperate, Korean-drama-sort of way. Although this song was released in 1990, here is an archetypical example: You, Reflected in a Smile (미소 속에 비친 그대) by Shin Seung-Hoon (신승훈). Because there is no sharp break between folk rock and ballad, it is difficult to say exactly when – or who – made the first jump into ballad. It is more the case that some folk rock singers had a few songs in their albums that were ballad-like, and eventually some artists began to engage exclusively in ballad. What is clear, however, is that by late 1980s, ballad came to be the most dominant force in Korean pop music, and the dominance lasted until early 1990s. Although its influence faded in recent times in such a way that few current K-pop artists can be labeled as “ballad singers,” many K-pop artists to this day include one or two tracks of ballad-like songs in their albums. Waves and waves of democratization protests finally made the dictatorship capitulate, and in 1987 Korea had the first free election in decades (or ever, depending on who you ask.) Many of the most oppressive measures restricting artistic freedom were abolished. Consequently, Korean pop music began to experience more variety from the tired triumvirate of trot-folk rock-ballad. Hard rock such as heavy metal (indicated in blue in the chart) began to emerge, and generic dance music (indicated in pink in the chart) based on pretty faces and catchy tunes – influenced by Michael Jackson – began to take root as well. 1990s One can make a strong argument that 1990s represented the golden age of K-pop. Freed from political oppression, the artists were finally exploring their creativity in many different genres. The stultifying commercialization of the 2000s was yet to come. The twin pillars of “traditional” Korean pop music – trot and folk rock – nearly disappeared in 1990s. Trot was considered antiquated and struggled to produce a younger generation of artists that replaced the old. Folk rock transformed into either ballad or hard rock, and its form as it existed in 1970s was nearly gone. Ballad continued its strong run all the way into mid-1990s, but the zeitgeist of 1990s is characterized by dance music. This song – I Know (난 알아요) by Seo Taiji (서태지) – marked the beginning of revolution: Also significant is the emergence of rap and hip-hop in the 1990s (marked in red in the chart.) In all, by late 1990s Korean pop scene came to resemble its American counterpart – abundance of dance music, heart-tugging soft rock for some, rock and rap here and there. 2000s The artistic scene of the 2000s did not necessarily change dramatically from 1990s. What did change dramatically, however, is what happened behind the scenes. For lack of a better word, music business in Korea became “corporate.” As it became apparent that there is big money to be made in music business, the process for discovering, evaluating, packaging and presenting talent has become standardized and commercialized. The leaders of management companies like SM Entertainment or JYP Entertainment were considered serious businessmen instead of free-flowing artists. Instead of merely guessing (or doing what they want, which is worse for business,) they gauged what people wanted in a sophisticated manner and packaged their talent accordingly. The result is something like this: Nobody by Wonder Girls. With the backing of capital, these management companies were able to venture outside of Korea for the first time. And so, “K-pop” (in the narrower sense of the word) was born. New talents were shaped and molded specifically with the aim of appealing to non-Korean audience. For example, BoA (produced by SM Entertainment) was sent to Japan at age 12 so that she may learn Japanese; she later released albums in both Korean and Japanese, and topped the charts in both countries. Similarly produced K-pop artists would come to dominate Asian pop culture. But innovative music lived on in Korea. Public’s taste grew and diversified, and groundbreaking bands like Clazziquai would peacefully co-exist with the likes of Girls’ Generation and 2PM. Especially as the generations who grew up with the unsophisticated music of the 1970s and 80s continued to consume culture – unlike their parents, who never truly grew up with any music – older K-pop songs would experience a renaissance, and significant K-pop artists of that era are receiving well-deserved retrospective on their achievements. Now that we have gained some perspective, the next part of the series will get into the rankings.
"Korean psychedelic rock and folk encyclopedia"
This list contains only collector's Items of about one hundred records (with a basis on musicality and rarity), devided in 9 sections. With Psychedelic Rock : the Shin Joong Hyun tree, the Key Boys tree, the Sunulim tree and the others, and Korean folk music sections are Kim Min-Gi tree, Singer song writers, Lee Jeong-Sun family, big folk musician three in 1980th and the others.
The Encyclopedia started with the listing of Shin Joong-Hyun
Also managed was a page about Key Boys and Sanulim.
Further we managed to prepare a page on He5/He6.