San Jo for Orchestra
San Jo for Orchestra is a large orchestra work in three movements with a prologue, played without break, approximately twelve minutes in duration. The concept of this composition is the exploration of Korean folk music within the Western musical tradition. The central tone, the harmony, and the timbres used for the orchestra all originate from the traditions and practice of Korean music. The title of this composition is derived from the traditional Korean music of the same name. This multiple-movement form is usually performed with either the "Komungo" or the "Kaya-gum" traditional Korean string instruments, and the music is therefore called "Komun-go San Jo," or "Kaya-gum San Jo," respectively. San Jo appeared in the Yi Dynasty in the late nineteenth century and the music was learned by ear without a specific notation system. Later, the master musicians of the era developed San Jo as an independent genre from other folk music. Even though there are many different types of forms in this music, there are some common characteristics. For example, the music is usually constructed in 5 or 6 continuous movements, including "Jin-Yang," an extremely slow movement; "Jung-Mori," a moderate tempo movement; and "Jat-Eun Mori," an extremely fast movement. Because of the extreme variety of musical expression within a single piece, the music of San Jo is characterized by both elegance and dynamism, and is one of the finest examples of traditional Korean music. Since the "San Jo" is usually performed by a solo instrument, the goal of this work is to retain the dynamic and elegant character using the large Western orchestra. For example, in the first section, the series of the pitches G-C-C#-F# played by violin, piano, and harp form the kernel of the work. These two intervals of a perfect 4th connected by a half step originate within traditional Korean music. This opening, a perfect 4th sonority, is heard throughout the piece in different musical textures, transpositions, voicings, and scorings until it is finally resolved to its concluding tone at the end of the work. Formally, the work is a single, through-composed movement that can be classified into four sections: Prologue (slow), Jin-Yang (very slow), Jung Mori (moderate), Jat-Eun Mori (extremely fast). This arrangement of slow, very slow, moderate, and fast creates the effect of a four-movement form. In this same way, a parallel dynamic curve is created. The opening Prologue is an anticipatory section that introduces and synthesizes the characters of the following movements. The Jin-Yang is a meditative section, mainly played by a group of woodwind instruments in a slow tempo. An energic intensity appears in the Jung Mori section. Also without break, Jat-Eun Mori, the closing section, is uplifting and dramatically animated. The tempo through each section moves gradually faster, and provides for a synthetic musical construction while retaining the traditional Korean music. The history of Western music in Korea has existed for over one hundred years. Only at the mid of the 1960's did Korean composers begin to turn back to the Korean tradition as part of their own cultural identity. They experimented with a "third way," which could speak for both Korean and Western perspectives. Since then, many composers have created works with this idea in mind. This dissertation is my personal contribution to this trend, as the combination of Eastern and Western elements has been of interest to me since 1993. I have explored these directions in approximately fifteen of my chamber compositions in smaller instrumental combinations, but San Jo for Orchestra is the culmination of these ideas in a large orchestral setting.
Korean Music, San Jo
October 27, 2004.
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ladislav Kubik, Professor Directing Dissertation; Lubomir Georgiev, Outside Committee Member; Peter Spencer, Committee Member; James Mathes, Committee Member.
Florida State University
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.