THE USE OF TRADITIONAL KOREAN COMPOSITIONAL TECHNIQUES IN ISANG YUN'S OPERA "DIE WITWE DES SCHMETTERLINGS" (THE BUTTERFLY WIDOW): COMBINING EASTERN MUSICAL VALUES AND CONCEPTS WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF WESTERN PRACTICE
Committee ChairRoe, Charles
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIsang Yun (1917-1995) is one of the most important composers in Korean history. Even though Yun is a South Korean-born composer, most of his music was composed in Germany and has been largely performed and studied in Europe, Japan, and even North Korea. His music is unfamiliar to South Korean audiences because of the political issues surrounding the East Berlin Spy Incident (1967). Isang Yun composed a massive amount of music employing his unique compositional methods, such as the Korean traditional zither technique, Nonghyun, which is very similar to the vocal technique, Sigimsae. Also Yun created a Main-Tone Technique that was influenced by Korean court music and utilized more practically for his orchestra pieces as a Main-Sound Technique. Based on Taoist philosophy, Yun employed yin and yang concepts in his compositions and formulated his music with balance. All of his techniques and styles of music were designed by employing Eastern musical language and European compositional techniques. In this thesis, I will introduce the concepts and compositional techniques of Isang Yun. Also, by analyzing how he translated Eastern musical concepts into Western musical techniques in his opera, Die Witwe des Schmetterlings (The Butterfly Widow), I will attempt to demonstrate Yun's unique compositional style which resulted from a blending of Eastern and Western musical elements. In this opera, we have a unique example of how he successfully employed his own Korean musical values and techniques within the context of Western practice. Yun rediscovered the value of his own Eastern compositional techniques and then shared his music with Western audiences.