Creating a Competitive Edge: Preserving Korfean folks songs from the center
- Roald Maliangkaij
- Tuesday 6 December 2016
- Borders: Life On the Fringes of Area Studies
2311 BD Leiden
Roald Maliangkaij discusses his forthcoming monograph Broken Voices. Studying the history and music of Korea’s rich folk song traditions he explains the colonial roots of South Korea’s elaborate cultural preservation system. He shows how the three largest folk song traditions, that have all been passed on in and around Seoul, have all developed prior to and after they became recognised as national cultural properties. Although continued government funding for Korea’s national heritage has won over many sceptics, close analysis of the traditions reveals that these have changed significantly since their official designation as Important Intangible Cultural Properties. Such changes are not caused by the preservation system per se, but by a combination of socio-political and economic factors. Since traditions that fail to attract practitioners and audiences are unsustainable, compromises may be unwelcome, but imperative.