The use or application of the (gospel) choir aestethic or sound is a staple in popular Western music, and the artists who have used the imagery or sound go fromrockandpoptorap. In an essay discussing how the African-American creative and cultural tradition of gospel music is preserved or transformed as it moves around the globe, Burnim links the original context of gospel music and its role in the African-American community to its unexpected introduction into American mainstream music (solidified by creative and consumer success markers):
As a genre that came to most strongly define the worship of the vast majority of African Americans regardless of denomination, gospel remained largely in the domain of African American congregants — that is, church folk — until the late 1960’s, when Edwin Hawkins released Let Us Go into The House of the Lord, with its ever-popular single “O Happy Day” unexpectedly hitting the radio airways, claiming unparalleled chart success and subsequent sales in excess of one million copies… (2016, 471)
While gospel music is primarily the vehicle by which African-Americans practiced aspects of their religion, it is also a form of music that has close ties to the continent and cultures of Africa. With those multitudes of cultures come expanded channels of creativity, and you can hear those elements in gospel music, including:
call and response
improvisation (Rucker-Hillsman, 2014)
Noting links to commercial success and the musicality imbued in the gospel choir, international artists have also incorporated the sound into their music.
Let’s take a look at the gospel choir’s entry into K-pop:
Press Play to Hear “할렐루야 ” (Hallelujah)” from Jonghyun’s album Base (released January 12, 2015).
In a 2015 interview, Jonghyun noted that he did not originally intend to have a choir but that his interest in gospel music spurred him to update the arrangement.
Jonghyun documents choir members recording the background vocals for “Hallelujah.”
Burnim, M. (2016). Tropes of continuity and disjuncture in the globalization of gospel music. In S.A. Riley & J.M. Dueck (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities. Oxford University Press (pp. 469-488).
Rucker-Hillsman, J. (2014). Gospel music: An African-American art form. Victoria, BC, Canada: Freisen Press.
A recent Rolling Stone article discusses the major thread of American R&B in Kpop music. A producer notes the attraction towards the genre, sharing, “Korean pop music likes differentiation and changes,..the average American song is four melodies, maybe five. The average K-pop song is eight to 10. They are also very heavy in the harmonies. The one-loop beat doesn’t work over there…” (Leight, 2018)
Well – we stan complexity.
In this edition of “Let Us Introduce You To…” we showcase a song that highlights how that nostalgic R&B feel is built in Kpop by using numerous beats, harmonies, and even rap cadence to hook listeners by producing a new sound that simultaneously feels familiar.
Press Play to Hear “Lock You Down” from SHINee’s album The Story of Light EP 3 (released June 25, 2018).
Lock You Down’s beats echo…
Artist: Vanity 6
Press Play to Hear “Nasty Girl” from Vanity 6’s album Vanity 6 (released August 11, 1982).
Welcome to Part 8 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu. These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL + F function).
This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly email@example.com
NOTE:In order to make it easier to locate authors (and where possible), I’ve modified these APA Style citations by adding full author names where possible.
Lee Minu and Chong Heup Cho. (1990/2003). Women watching together: An ethnographic study of Korean soap opera fans in the United States. In Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez (eds.) Gender, race and class in media. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Kim, Youna. (2002). Women, television and everyday life: Korean women’s reflexive experience of television mediated by generation and class. Thesis, University of London.
Park, Jung-sun. (2004). Korean American Youths’ Consumption of Korean and Japanese TV Dramas and Its Implications. In Koichi Iwabuchi (Ed.) Feeling Asian Modernities: Transnational Consumption of Japanese TV Dramas. Pp. 275-300. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Park, Sora. (2004). China’s Consumption of Korean Television Dramas: An Empirical Test of the “Cultural Discount” Concept’, Korea Journal 44: 265–90.
Han, Kyung-Koo. (2006). From housewives to butterflies: Hallyu and the fantastic journey to Korea. Korea Journal, 46(2): 269-274.
Kwon, Dong Hwan. (2006). Is it too early to talk about “Hallyu” in the Phillipines? Koreanovela and its reception among Filipino audience. Cultural Space and Public Sphere in Asia.
Shim D. (2006). Korean women television viewers in Singapore. Cultural Space and Public Sphere in Asia.
Kim, Dae Do and Su Na Mi. (2007). Consuming Korean TV Dramas in China: Analysis of a new cultural flow, “Hanryu”, in the Asian context. pp. 233-261.
Lin, Angel and Avin Tong. (2007). Crossing boundaries: male consumption of Korean TV dramas and negotiation of gender relations in modern day Hong Kong. Journal of Gender Studies, 16(3): 217-232.
Shim, D. (2007). Korean wave and Korean women television viewers in Singapore. Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, 13(2): 63-82.
Hirata, Yukie. (2008). Touring ‘Dramatic Korea’: Japanese women as viewers of Hanryu dramas and tourists on Hanyru tours. In C.B. Huat and K. Iwabuchi (Eds.) East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave. pp. 143 – 156.. Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press. (see also, Tourism)
Lee, Soobum and Hyejung Ju. (2010). Korean television dramas in Japan: Imagining “East Asianness” and consuming “nostalgia.” Asian Women, 26(2): 77-105.
Chan, Brenda. (2011). Of prince charming and male chauvinist pigs: Singaporean female viewers and the dream-world of Korean television dramas. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 14(3): 291-305.doi: 10.1177/1367877910391868
Hung Jen Su, Yu-An Huang, Glen Brodowsky & Hyun Jeong Kim. (2011.) The impact of product placement on TV-induced tourism: Korean TV dramas and Taiwanese viewers. Tourism Management, 32(4): 805-814.
Lee, Sangjoon. (2012). From diaspora to Drama Fever: Consuming Korean dramas in North America. Presented at the Nam Center for Korean Studies’ Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media Symposium. (Watch video of this presentation)
Chuang, Lisa M. & Hye Eun Lee. (2013). Korean wave: enjoyment factors of Korean dramas in the U.S. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(5): 594-604.
Kuotsu, Neikolie. (2013). Architectures of pirate film cultures: encounters with the Korean wave in “Northeast” India. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 14(4): 579-599.
Yoo, Jae-woong, Samsup Jo, and Jaemin Jung. (2014). The effects of television viewing, cultural proximity, and ethnocentrism on country image. Social Behavior & Personality: an international journal, 42(1):89 – 96.
Welcome to Part 7 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu. These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL + F function).
Siriyuvasak, Ubonrat & Hyunjoon Shin. (2007). Asianizing Kpop: production, consumption and identification patterns among Thai youth. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 8(1): 109-136
Cayla, Julien and Giana M. Eckhardt. (2008). Asian brands and the shaping of a transnational imagined community. Journal of Consumer Research, 35 (2): 216 – 230. Accessed 7 December 2016 from http://www.juliencayla.com/JCR%20final.pdf
Sung, Sang Yeon. (2008). Globalization and the regional flow of popular music: the role of the Korean wave (Hanliu) in the construction of Taiwanese identities and Asian values. Thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Yang, Fang-chih Irene. (2008). Rap(p)ing Korean Wave: National identity in question. In C.B. Huat and K. Iwabuchi (Eds.) East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave. pp. 191- X. Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press.
Kim, Youna. (2011). Diasporic nationalism and the media. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 14(2): 133-151.
Sutton, R. Anderson. (2011). “Fusion” and questions of Korean cultural identity in music. Korean Studies, 35: 4-24.
Sung, Sang-Yeon Loise. (2012). The role of Hallyu in the construction of East Asian regional identity in Vienna. European Journal of East Asian Studies, 11(1): 155-171.
Ho, Swee-Lin. (2012). Fuel for South Korea’s “Global Dreams Factory”: The desires of parents whose children dream of becoming K-pop stars. Korea Observer, 43(3): 471-502.
Yoo, Jae-woong, Samsup Jo, and Jaemin Jung. (2014). The effects of television viewing, cultural proximity, and ethnocentrism on country image. Social Behavior & Personality: an international journal, 42(1):89 – 96.
Han, Gil-soo. (2015). K-pop nationalism: Celebrities and acting blackface in the Korean media. Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 29(1): 2-16.
Kim, Bongchul & Vasileva, Kristina. (2017). Popular culture as an important element in creating a national image of Korea. Advanced Science Letters, 23(10): 9866-9869.
Korean popular music includes many genres – Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock, Rhythm & Blues – even Ska and Bossa Nova. One of the reasons Kpop is so addictive and has continued its growth globally is because, despite language differences, the music seems so familiar to its listeners, particularly for non-Asian audiences. Fuhr (2015) writes, “K-pop producers strongly follow the formulaic production standards set by Western mainstream pop songs…, but they combine all the well-known elements in a way that audiences in the East and West equally seem to receive as refreshingly new but also familiar.” (pp. 238-239)
Not only do Korean producers strive to mix (and remix) Eastern and Western musical elements, they work closely with Westernsinger/songwriters and producers or purchase western-based music tracks for use by Korean artists (Note: purchasing tracks is a popular practice in the global music industry. Demo tracks, guide vocals, backing vocals are some terms you can search to learn more).
KPK members have noted that Kpop fans may not be familiar with why many songs sound familiar to them. This realization was crystallized when TVXQ released their strong R&B ballad “Before U Go,” (2011) which includes a partial guitar riff from the Isley Brother’s song “Voyage to Atlantis” (1977) – many people, instead, could only reference Chris Brown’s song “Take You Down” (2008) – which still echoes the musical composition of the aforementioned Isley Brothers song. Moreover, recognition gaps go beyond music composition to include singing styles, choreography, and song instrumentation or arrangement. Additionally, we’ve found that such oversights are glaring in academic literature, which overwhelmingly focuses on K-pop music as a political tool or economic commodity (Lee 2008, Jang & Paik 2012, and see this bibliography).
The “Let KPK Introduce You To…” blogpost series hopes to help Kpop fans discover links between what they hear in Kpop songs (or see in Kpop promotions) and the recent history of American music and popular culture – from a particular song or a musician’s vocal runs to costuming, training, dancing, or overall presentation. The primarily audio/visual – and brief – blog posts will open with the K-pop artist song,concept, or performance and then readers will be introduced to the “why it sounds familiar” song, concept, or performance. The entry will end with brief biographical or explanatory text of the “original” artist, sound, idea, or concept. Simple right?
Part lay ethnomusicology and part historiography, the series offers a gateway for music enthusiasts to contextualize the foundation and development of Kpop music, and for critics to move beyond discussions of cultural appropriation in K-pop and toward the more likely premise of global creative collaboration.
If you’ve ever heard or seen a Kpop song, dance, styling, or presentation and and thought “that sounds like/looks like/feels like/reminds me of…,” this series is for you! Look forward to it.
Fuhr, Michael. Globalization and popular music in South Korea: Sounding out K-pop. New York: Routledge. (2015).
Jang, Gunjoo & Won K. Paik. Korean wave as tool for Korea’s new cultural diplomacy. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2(3): 196-202. (2012). http://file.scirp.org/Html/22229.html(16 June 2016).
Lee, Keehyeung. Mapping out the cultural politics of the “Korean Wave” in contemporary South Korea. In C.B. Huat and K. Iwabuchi (Eds.) East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave. pp. 175 – 189. Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press. (2008).
After several years of curating Kpop music and performers, there’s one thing I’ve learned: Kpop fans and scholars at all levels are talking about and presenting on all aspects of Korean popular culture in academia – from high school to postgraduate work.
A quick online search shows that students use several different presentation and design tools to fulfill assignments (with Korean popular culture as the topic) in many courses, including digital media, linguistics, and economics. These tools are great for longer presentations, but sometimes, you just need something not so lengthy to support a short talk. Other times, you may want to augment a presentation and give your audience an impactful take-away that they can revisit and share quickly with others.
That’s where the infographic comes in. Techopedia defines infographic – and its use – as “a visual representation of a data set or instructive material. An infographic takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and then condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains.” (2016)
News and media distributed via the Internet have increasingly used infographics to support content. Soompi, DramaFever, and more recently, My Music Taste have used the medium to distribute information about Kpop trends. You will also find many Kpop fans and culture bloggers using infographics to promote their favorite groups or Korean food and language.
There are many tools you can use to create infographics, from Piktochart to Easel.ly; however, Canva rises to the top of the list for a few reasons:
It’s free (unlike Piktochart, which has a limited free version)
In contrast to Easel.ly, lots of “turnkey” templates and other drag-and-drop design elements are available in Canva, which means
There’s a low learning curve. A low learning curve means
You can distribute your unique content more quickly
If you need to collaborate on a design, you can easily share work with others to edit.
In addition to a lot of templates, Canva users also have broad color, font, photo, and icon choices. For those who want to be really fancy, for-cost design elements are just $1.00, and the cost isn’t applied until the final design is saved. Designs can be saved as images (.jpg or .png) or a document (.pdf). Users can also share their work on social media since Canva automatically invites users to tweet or post their work after a design has been saved.
I created this simple infographic featuring TVXQ’s Max (Shim Chang Min) in a matter of minutes (imagine all I could do with 30 minutes to an hour to spare!).
Canva also has lots of other uses – many users have created CD covers, website banners, postcards, and more using the tool. It’s easy to explore what other users are doing, too – users just click on the “Get design inspiration” link in their account dashboard to check out and comment on the latest designs in the Canva community.
Currently Canva is available foriPad for those who want to design on-the-go.
TIP: To get the most out of Canva, sign up using a .edu e-mail account.
It used to be that if you wanted to browse a library’s bookshelves, check out a book, or ask a quick (or deeper) reference question, you had to visit the brick-and-mortar library building. However, that is not the case anymore – modern libraries have online catalogs that users can search, and those catalogs often include electronic books that can be downloaded into commercial e-readers and tablets. For those of us who prefer paper versions, those same catalogs offer features like remote requesting, book reservations, and even tagging options so you can tell other readers about the book using short and sweet descriptors.
All of that is very exciting, but what happens if you’re not familiar with how libraries work (and you don’t want to drive/use transit to visit a library to find out)? After all, library anxiety is a real phenomenon that affects lots of library users. The term, coined by Mellon (1986), describes the initial fear that library users (in her study, college students) face when having to look for information in an academic library. Significant reasons behind their worries included:
the perception that their ability to use the library is lacking while others’ skills are good
their lack of skill is a source of shame
asking for help will expose their inability to use the library effectively (160)
Subsequent library anxiety studies echo Mellon’s findings, expanding them to other library user groups and focusing on affective aspects (Qun & Onwuegbuzie, 1998; Onwuegbuzie & Qun, 2000).
To help mitigate users’ concerns about the library (and to avoid that pesky physical library visit), I use tools that help me implement distance education. One tool I use is Screencast-O-Matic, which I discovered during my work here at KPK.
What is Screencast-O-Matic?
Screencast-O-Matic (SOM) is an online tool that records computer screen activity. The service also hosts SOM videos, creating a library for account users. Users can make their videos public via Screencast-O-Matic, download the files to their personal computers, or upload their files directly to YouTube.
SOM is a freemium service: a basic account with some features is free, and users can pay a yearly fee to get advanced features like longer recording times, video editing tools, and more. One cool feature that comes with the free version: users can annotate sections of videos – a great help for referencing web links, readings, and other important points that may be discussed in a teaching video.
Screencast-O-Matic at KPK
As I mentioned earlier, I learned about SOM while doing research for KPK projects. I needed a tool that would record Hallyu-related websites, and I also wanted to be able to keep videos showcasing artists and groups from the same entertainment company together. I also wanted to be able to host all of the videos in one place and download the files for future maintenance or archiving if needed. Since SOM allows me to do all of these things, I began using it for KPK’sDigital Documentationproject. At post time, there are over 500 video recordings, which are included in other KPK projects, includingKPOPIANA.
Distance Learning with Screencast-O-Matic
One of the things I do as an academic librarian is create tutorials that help people understand how to effectively use library tools like the online catalog, article link resolvers, and databases. I also give lectures to students in graduate Library and Information Science (LIS) programs.
SOM allows me to create on-the-fly tutorials for students when they stop in for Research Consultations or pop-in for a virtual visit at our library’s Ask A Librarian chat page. Since SOM creates unique links for each video, I’m able to send it to users and alert them to download the file for their own use whenever they need a refresher (yay, library anxiety reduction!).
I also use SOM in tandem with Prezi, a presentation software, for my LIS graduate school lectures. That unique SOM link means that I can teach asynchronously – students can access my lectures on their own time and leave comments about my talk at the video site. I often use the video annotation feature to reference portions of my talk with readings they’ve been assigned.
Information Literacy Standards*: 1, 3, 4
SOM is very easy to use. All that’s needed is a computer, an Internet connection, and if you plan to talk, a good quality headset. Do you use screencast software? Which ones are your favorites and why? Share what you’re doing and what you’ve learned during your own screencasting activities in the comment section.
During KPK’s early days in 2011, Dr. Anderson and other KPK founders were having quite a difficult time accessing some Kpop entertainment companies’ artist websites. They kept encountering what they called, “the circle of death,” and then timing out. I wasn’t having this problem and had just discovered the Screencast-O-Matic tool, so I decided to record the sites and send the video links to my KPK colleagues.
And that is how the the KPK Digital Documentation (DD) project was born.
While the original intent of my website recordings was to share the Kpop website love, I quickly realized that recording Kpop websites could be useful in other ways: to track changes in Kpop web design, to understand how Korean entertainment companies use websites to engage Korean and international Kpop fans, and what roles these sites seem to play in the company’s larger business, marketing, and promotional plans – particularly when it comes to attracting new talent and integrating social media channels and tools.
Recording websites can take between 2 to 15 minutes per site- occasionally more if the website is dense. I choose to record the websites without sound in order to avoid copyright infringement and so that visitors may enjoy and engage in unbiased viewing or analysis of the website. In Kpop, many artists and groups release several music projects a year, so I keep up with Kpop news outlets to find out about debuts and comebacks, and I try to record the different websites for each project. In this way, the DD project creates depth not only by seeking out general trends, but also monitoring the evolution of individual groups and artists. Additionally, if artists and groups promote in Japan, I record those websites if they are available.
One of the first things I noticed is that SM Entertainment was the only company that still gave historical access to websites supporting their early artists (Shinhwa, S.E.S., Yoo Joung Jin, etc.), so I quickly recorded those websites. It’s a good thing that I did, because in 2012, the company completely redesigned their website, removing any content about artists who were not currently on their roster. SM Entertainment continues to allow access to the older websites of groups who are still on their roster (e.g., Girls Generation, SHINee, TVXQ! etc.); additionally this company provides links to modified liner notes (e.g., lyrics, music publishing information, etc.). Those sites have been recorded for posterity, as well.
In contrast, other companies like YG Entertainment or FNC Music Entertainment only offer current editions of artists websites – that is, viewers only have access to the current promotional concept of a group or artist, even if some historical information may be available (see below). Additionally, some companies (Starship Entertainment, TS Entertainment) only offer quick profile information about their artists on their websites. Instead they choose to use Cafe Daum’s “internet cafe” sites, which act as a hybrid website/forum, to promote their artists. Since Cafe Daum Official Kpop artist sites are generally designed to reach Korean Kpop fans, I do not record these sites for KPK.
Despite these differences, most Kpop artist websites have common elements:
Artist profiles (member names, birthdays, blood type, hobbies)
Links to online music purchasing and downloading sites (e.g., Melon, Olleh, iTunes)
Message boards (from the artists, their staff, and for fan-to-fan communication)
Official fanclub portals and exclusive content (often password protected)
International language options (default language is Korean with some English)
Links to the company’s business site, which include audition information
From Collection to Curation
When this project first began, KPK members were more engaged in collecting information, so DD videos were listed on the KPK website, separately from the artist profiles. As we move on to curation activities, these video links are now included in KPOPIANA artist exhibits. At press time, KPK has a DD library of almost 500 Kpop artist websites, from all kinds of Korean entertainment companies and encompassing all kinds of artists, Kpop choreographers, some international fansites, and even Kdrama actors. Currently we are focused on releasing DD items pertaining to Kpop artists, with plans to include other items in the future.The Library of Congress (n.d.) notes that the average length of a website is about 44 days. Considering the frenetic pace of music production in Kpop, this length may sometimes be shortened, making the DD project a useful tool in the study of Hallyu and its life on the Internet.