Music Exchanges Between Korea and Central Asia in Ancient Times

The Three Kingdoms and the Unified Silla were periods when foreign music was most vigorously accepted into Korean popular culture. Although a part of the musical culture was accepted from China, the instrumentation and modal systems of T'ang music in Silla were also closely related to the musical culture of Central Asia, which China had also accepted via the Silk Road. Korea appropriated foreign music but remodeled it rather than overly and unilaterally accepting it. This independent-minded attitude towards foreign culture ensured that Silla, Paekche and Koguryo heavily influenced the ancient music of Japan and, in particular, of ancient Japanese court music. Today, Japanese court music or Gagaku continues the Korean tradition of Komagaku.

Related Information

  • Author(s):
    Song, Bang-song
    5 BC – modern day
    Language of article:

    International Seminar on the Korean Culture and the Silk Roads, 23-25 February 1991. Kyongju and Pusan, Republic of Korea

    China, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Republic of Korea

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