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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article has been commissioned as part of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Revival edited by Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill. This chapter explores the revival of the intangible cultural heritage, and the interface between preservation and creativity, in one key battleground for debate and legislation: South Korea (the Republic of Korea). In 1962, South Korea reframed and refocused legislation from earlier in the century to serve as a new agenda in which performance arts and crafts would foster a shared national identity. Over time, more than one hundred arts and crafts were appointed as Intangible Cultural Properties. This chapter zooms in on folk songs, percussion bands, shaman ritual music, and court music/dance. It explores how and why each genre was appointed in the state-sponsored preservation system and how each has become iconic of Korea both at home and abroad. Challenging arguments that preservation creates sterile museum objects, it demonstrates how each has been utilized in new creativity.

Keywords: Korea, intangible cultural heritage, preservation, revival, creativity, folk song, shamanism, percussion bands, court music/dance

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