London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

LKL book database logo

KPOP: Roots and Blossoming of Korean Popular Music

Publisher: , 2012
Link to online store *

Publisher description:

K-pop, referring to pop and dance music performed by idol groups mainly targeted at teens, has been expanding in popularity beyond Asia to Europe and South America. It was the 1990s when this school of music first appeared in Korea, but its emergence was not abrupt and its roots are sunk deep into decades of Korean popular music history. This book is designed to introduce to international audiences interested in Korean music how the modern form of Korean pop music began and evolved. Understanding the history of Korean pop music, which has shifted and progressed in the currents of social transformation, means figuring out just how Korean society has been transfigured. This book is mainly divided into two sections. The first deals with the developments in Korean pop music from Japanese rule up to the early 1990s. Exploring this period, which falls into a prehistory of K-pop, will serve as an opportunity for understanding the historical context surrounding K-pop. The second section illustrates the processes of formation to K-pop throughout the 1990s and the stages in its development into its current form as a globalized cultural element. The main focuses of the second portion include K-pop’s representative idol groups, the social circumstances that yielded K-pop, and its production system. Gaining a thorough grasp of the K-pop fever around the world requires a more multi-dimensional perspective that encompasses its historical context and structural conditions. In this sense, this book will prove useful to those who desire to learn about K-pop and Korean popular culture, and further about Korean society.


01 K-POP, or Korean Popular Music

02 Korean Popular Music Preceding K-POP: Late 1920s to Early 1990s

  • The Formative Period of Korean Popular Music: From the Japanese Occupation through the 1950s
  • Popular Music in the 1960s
  • Popular Music in the 1970s
  • Popular Music in the 1980s
  • Popular Music in the 1990s

03 Korean Popular Music in the Era of K-POP: After the Late 1990s

  • The Landscape of Pop Music in the Era of Digitalization and Globalization
  • First Generation Idols in the Late 1990s and the Early 2000s
  • Second Generation Idols after the Mid-2000s
  • Idol Groups and Sexuality
  • The Musicality of K-POP and the Influence of Hip-hop and R&B
  • K-POP and Hallyu

04 Summary and Conclusion

  • The Roots of K-POP: The History of Korean Popular Music
  • Korean Popular Music in the Era of K-POP and Its Future

Entry on here.

* 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.