Annotated Bibliography

Here is a list of various materials that have been helpful on my journey with this project studying
Korean Art Song.

Updated 9.5.22

English Language

Ahn, Choong-sik. The Story of Western Music in Korea: a social history, 1885-1950. eBookstand Books, Division of CyberRead, Inc. 2005.

Choong-sik Ahn’s book generally, but not strictly, follows a chronological order tracing Western music in Korea until 1950. Ahn’s writing is easily digestible and short, focused chapters make for quick and engaging reading. The work follows the evolution from Koreans being trained by missionaries and the build up of public concerts from amateurism to professional orchestral and operatic performances. The work puts musical development alongside a broader historical context. The appendices are notable as well: lists of mission schools and music schools attended by Noted Korean Musicians and a timeline of Musical Events in Korea. The work contains a bibliography of materials in Korean, English, and Japanese. Although vocal music is not the focus of this book, as an overall foundation for understanding early classical music and understanding its place in the history, culture, and context of Korea, it is an excellent resource. Highly recommended.

Gagok, Gasa, Sijo Classical Vocal Music of Korea. Korean Musicology Series 9. National Gugak Center. 2018.

This work provides excellent information about Korean traditional music and its history. In particular, Chapter 4, Jared Redmond’s contribution “Gagok as Art Music” is the most relevant to an examination of Korean art song. In this chapter, Redmond compares several Korean art songs to Mozart’s Das Vielchen, and dicusses traditional rhythms, melodies, poetic devices use in Gagok.

Kim, Yohan. “A Korean Art Song Anthology.” DMA diss., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014.

Yohan Kim’s document begins with a brief background of Korean Art Song followed by a simplified Korean diction guide that he has created. After providing word for word translations, poetic translations, and phonetics for 5 songs of Nanpa Hong/홍난파 and 5 songs for Jaemyung Hyun/현제명, Kim provides scores of these songs, reproduced in modern notation using Sibelius, with romanized Korean and IPA in the score. Contents: A Garden Balsam / 봉선화, A Spring Lady / 봄처녀, A Night at Sungbulsa / 성불사의 밤, Love / 사랑, and In an Old Garden / 옛 동산에 올라; Thinking of my Hometown / 고향생각, A Girl Gathering Herbs / 나물 깨는 처녀, Come / 오라, To the Land of Hope / 희망의 나라로, An Evening Star / 저녁별.

Kim, Yongmin. “Articulating han: An Exploration of the Distinctions between Western and Korean Vocal Music.” DMA diss., University of Michigan, 2018.

Yongmin Kim’s document consists of program notes to accompany his dissertation recitals. Of particular note are his writings for the first and third recital, where he performed Korean art song. Notes to the first recital briefly define han, Heung, pansori, and touches on the history and development of Korean song. These introductions are fleshed out in the notes to his third dissertation recital. The subsections of his third recital notes are titled: “Western Music into Korea,” Young-Jo Lee,” “Korean Traditional Music,” “Han, the Korean Sentiment,” “Han and Women,” “Han and Literature,” “Han and Arirang,” “Han and Christianity.”

Lee, Hye Yun. “The Historical Development of the Korean Art Song (1904-Present).” DMA diss., The University of Texas at Austin, 1993.

Hye Yun Lee’s document clearly discusses the historical and social development of Korea from the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century and its connections with Korean song. It is divided into three chapters: “Historical Background of Ch’angga,” “Political Developments in Korea (1920-1993) and Their Relations to the Korean Art Song” and “Principal Composers and Poets of Korean Art Song.” The work contains translations of the following songs and their scores (though these are hard to read), along with short biographies for the poets and composers. The Balsam / 봄숭아, I Long to Go / 가고파, Flowers on the Hills / 간유화, Poem of Autumn Evening / 가올 저녁의 시, I will have the Window Face the South / 남으로 창음 내겠소, Longing / 그리움.


Korean Classical Vocal Music. Accessed September 8, 2022.

This website was active for a few months during 2020 and contains IPA, text, word for word and poetic translations, and performance links of 38 Korean art songs. There was information about Korean diction as well, separated into section son consonants and vowels, but the YouTube video links are now defunct. I have reached out via the contact information on the site on June 29, 2022, but received no reply.