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Korean Pop Music – Riding the Wave

Publisher description:

Korean popular music has in the last decade become a significant model for youth culture throughout Asia. Yet, although the Korean music industry is both vibrant and massive, this is the first book-length work devoted to the subject to appear in English. The book offers a comprehensive account, written by thirteen scholars of Korean Studies, enthnomusicology and popular culture, charting Korean pop from the 1930s to the present day, from genres imitative of early twentieth-century European and Japanese styles (`trot’ and `yuhaengga’) to contemporary punk clubs, rap bands and music television shows. Consideration is given to South Korean singers who catered for US troops in the aftermath of the Korean War, to acoustic guitar songs and their use in the 1970s’ student protest movements against military dictatorship, to state propaganda pop, and to the explosion of global styles that marked the 1990s. Lyrics and dance, media packaging and stage costumes, song rooms and singing doctors, highway songs and new folksongs, as well as the impact of the Internet are all explored. The book also includes extensive discussion of North Korean popular music and chapters on the `Korean wave’ that swept Taiwan and the Chinese mainland at the start of the new millennium.

LKL says:

A very readable introduction to the history of Korean popular music. While the book is a collection of articles by different scholars, careful selection ensures that there’s no duplication and that the coverage is chronological.

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2. Read our review of this book here.

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* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.