Transfer und Aneignung. Europäische Musik in Korea∗

  • Jin-Ah Kim (Autor/in)


The present contribution concerns itself with this key question: Under what conditions and in what form can European music be transferred to and appropriated by another place, and what are the consequences that follow from this kind of transfer and appropriation in particular societies situated outside of Europe? A consideration of Korean society from the end of the 19th century up until the 1980s will serve here as the object of research. By this example it can be clearly shown that the transfer and appropriation of European music is to be understood as a result of complex historical processes, ones unfolding due to the Christian missionary movement, the establishment of a new educational system, the experiences under Japanese colonial rule, the coming into contact with industrialization and capitalist economics, technical achievements, the migration experience, as well as to urbanism and new, internationally dispersed knowledge and discourse contents — such as civilization, progressivism, nation, tradition, and the like. The chosen example demonstrates also how imported European music was in its new locale not simply just transferred in and received; rather, it was incorporated into one’s own culture. Its existence illustrates the growing tendency in musical practice for the boundary between imported “European” and traditional “domestic” music to shift over time, and for both types of music to become entangled with each other.


European music, music in Korea, cultural transfer, cultural appropriation, colonialism, transnational history, global history