London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Book launch and talk on Ch’angguk by Dr Andrew Killick

Here’s something which I knew nothing about till a couple of days ago. But I’ll certainly be getting myself a copy.

In search of Korean traditional operaBook launch and talk on Ch’angguk by Dr Andrew Killick (Sheffield University)‏

The Asian Performing Arts Forum ( is proud to sponsor a talk on Ch’angguk and book launch by Dr Andrew Killick at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in London on 10 June.

Information is as below. Admission is free of charge and no booking is required.

Book Launch: In Search of Korean Traditional Opera: Discourses of Ch’angguk by Andrew Killick
6.30 pm on 10 June 2011 at Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London WC1X 9NG.

This is the first book on Korean opera in a language other than Korean. Its subject is ch’angguk, a form of musical theater that has developed over the last hundred years from the older narrative singing tradition of p’ansori.

Andrew Killick examines the history and current practice of ch’angguk as an ongoing attempt to invent a traditional Korean opera form to compare with those of neighboring China and Japan. In this, the work addresses a growing interest in the fields of ethnomusicology and Asian studies with the adaptation of traditional arts to conditions in the modern world.

Ch’angguk presents an intriguing case in that, unlike the “invented traditions” described in Hobsbawm and Ranger’s influential book that were firmly established within a few years of their invention, ch’angguk remains in a marginal position relative to recognized traditional art forms such as South Korea’s “Important Intangible Cultural Properties” after more than a century. Performers, writers, directors, and historians have looked for ways to make the genre more traditional, including looking outside Korea for comparisons with traditional theater forms in other countries and for recognition of ch’angguk as a national art form by international audiences.For the benefit of readers who have not seen ch’angguk performed, the author begins with a detailed description of a typical performance, illustrated with photographs and musical examples, followed by a history of the genre¬-from its still disputed origins in the early twentieth century through a major revival under Japanese colonial rule and the flourishing of an all-female version (yosong kukkuk) after Liberation to the efforts of the National Changgeuk Company and others to establish ch’angguk as Korean traditional opera. Killick concludes with analyses of the stories and music of ch’angguk and a personal view on developing a Korean national theater form for international audiences.

Andrew Killick received his BMus from the University of Edinburgh (1984), MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii (1990), and PhD in Music from the University of Washington (1998). He has taught at Illinois State University and Florida State University, and is now a Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield. He has served as president of the Society for Ethnomusicology Southeast and Caribbean Chapter, president of the Association for Korean Music Research, secretary of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, and co-editor of the BFE’s journal Ethnomusicology Forum. A specialist in the music and musical theatre of Korea, Killick was an associate editor and substantial contributor to the East Asia volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and is also the author of In Search of Korean Traditional Opera: Discourses of Ch’anggŭk (University of Hawaii Press, 2010). His research has been published in journals such as Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Forum, Asian Music, and Korean Studies. He has also contributed major articles on popular musical theatre to the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, and is currently pursuing a research interest in an English bagpipe, the Northumbrian smallpipes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.