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  • P-ISSN1229-0076
  • E-ISSN2773-9351

The Symbols and Cultural Implications of the Court Music of the Joseon Dynasty

The Review of Korean Studies, (P)1229-0076; (E)2773-9351
2021, v.24 no.2, pp.11-44
https://doi.org/10.25024/review.2021.24.2.002
임미선 (단국대학교)
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Abstract

This paper focused on Joseon court music in light of cultural history and symbolic aspects. The court music was primarily performed for oryeui, or the five state rituals, and thus it is important to understand it in connection with rituals. Therefore, this paper provided an understanding of court music in cultural history by exploring its symbols and their meanings.This paper classified court music into two—sacrificial and ceremonial ones—and provided details of them. It explained the use and characteristics of royal ensembles and introduced musical pieces played by them as well as dance performers. Moreover, it also described how the performance tradition of the Joseon court music has been transmitted today.The symbols and their meanings of the court music were explored by being divided into several topics. Instead of covering all about them, this paper singled out some major types of court music for this subject, which include as follows: sacrificial rituals and music that signified royal legitimacy and authority; ceremonial music that represented the hierarchical order and friendly relations with neighboring countries; saak, or music bestowed by the king; daesaryeo and music, a symbol of military leadership; the policy of sadaegyorin(served the great and keep good relations with neighbors) and music; state funerals and soundless music; and music as a symbol of a vassal country and wonguak (music for the rite to heaven) as an imperial symbol. These topics will help understand the court music as part of royal culture of Joseon. To promote studies of the Joseon court music and overall traditional Korean music in both domestic and foreign scholarship, it is important to provide information on related historical sources. Thus, this paper presented them in the final chapter.This paper focused on Joseon court music in cultural aspects and thus academic achievements, though having been produced in various areas, were not covered. It is hoped that this paper will help scholars abroad have basic understandings of the Joseon court music and inspire their academic passion for this field.

keywords
Joseon court music oryeui understanding in cultural history symbol and meanings documents on court music

The Review of Korean Studies