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A Aspect of Early Korean Music-drama Presented in Kim Hyunsoon's Yeolsejib

YoungJeong Park 1

1한국문화관광연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The early form of Korean music-drama was appeared in the 1920s. In those days music-dramas which children performers played were in vogue. Children's music-dramas were usually performed as christian dramas as Sunday school activities. These children's plays represent the early form of Korean music-drama, before the professional theatrical company, Chwiseongjwa, played music-drama Guklakdo of popular songs in 1928. This study is an analysis of the music-drama Kim Hyunsoon's Yeolsejib. It is comprised of performance records of Yeolsejib and an analysis of the work in terms of genre. The results were compiled to identify the characteristics of early Korean music-dramas. The writer of Yeolsejib had remained unknown. However, the music-drama Yeolsejib repeatedly was performed from 1920 to 1945. This study finds out, for the first time, that the music-drama was written by Kim Hyunsoon. The main players of Yeolsejib were Sunday school children. The script is estimated a children's music-drama, consisted of Changga songs of the time and a Dansimjul play, similar to a maypole dance. However, it cannot be regarded as an example of professional opera in terms of dramatic structure or musical technicality. Even though the music-drama Yeolsejib appeared early than professional operas, considering that the work was performed only in religious settings, it might be conjectured that the work had little relevance to the development of professional opera in Korea. In conclusion, it is likely that different forms of theatrical opera performances existed in the 1920s, and Yeolsejib typified the characteristics of children's music-drama with Christian themes.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.