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Isang Yun (1917–1995) is considered by many Korean and German musicologists to be one of the most important twentieth-century composers. His long exile, due to the division of his homeland, caused him much pain, but he was able to build his career in Europe. Yun was an enthusiastic nationalist. His music often carried a political message for South Korea and for world peace. He was also dedicated to the cultural harmony of South Korea and North Korea. From his Early Songs to his last works, Engel in Flammen and Epilog, Yun's work frequently reflects Eastern Asian philosophies, such as Taoism, Confucianism, Shamanism and Buddhism. As he created his unique musical style based on traditional Korean musical ideas, he applied these practices effectively to Western instruments. Yun's instrumental works have become known to American musicians, but his vocal works, such as his Early Songs and his operas, are almost completely unknown in America. Yun's last opera, Sim Tjong, was only performed three times: in 1972 in Munich, and in the 1999 and 2000 Seoul Opera Festivals. In this treatise, I provide an introduction to Isang Yun's musical world.
A Treatise submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Matthew Lata, Professor Directing Treatise; Matthew R. Shaftel, Outside Committee Member; Stanford Olsen, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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