Musical Links Investigation

Korean Folk Music vs. New Age Piano


Korean Folk Music and New Age Piano are two musical genres that have their genesis in two separate hemispheres of the earth. Despite this great distance between their lands of origins, there are actually a sizable number of similarities between the two genres. Music and culture are quite convoluted, even though at times the connection between them can be ambiguous. The musical genre of New Age Piano has been influenced heavily by classical schools of thought, but has also been swayed by modern pressures. Korean Folk Music has mostly been affected by Korean culture.

The reason that I am studying these specific genres is because the apparent sharp contrast in the two genres creates a challenge to uncover the musical characteristics that link the two genres together. These two genres have various contextual facets that add to their interesting nature. While Korean Folk Music is used as cultural identity and as a sense of national pride, New Age Piano was a sort of underground movement, that started mainly in piano bars, that has miens of Classical rules while infusing modern nuances in each piece.

The links that I will be analyzing will mainly be scale mode and rhythm. In Korean Folk Music, as with other Asian music genres generally speaking, are in the pentatonic scale mode. In the New Age Piano genre there can be a variety of scale modes that are used but songs in the pentatonic mode are common traits that act as nuances against the 'Classical Rules'. The rhythms used in Korean Folk Music are generally triples, meaning that they are divided into thirds or multiples of thirds. New Age Piano also uses triple rhythms to combat the traditional duple rhythms in the 'Classical Rules'. While both of these genres have the aforementioned characteristics, not all songs in these genres have the same characteristics.