Revolutionaries, Nursery Rhymes, and Edison Wax Cylinders: The Remarkable Tale o

September 20, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room) Add to Calendar

On July 24, 1896, three young Korean men in Washington, D.C., were recorded on Edison wax cylinders by American ethnologist Alice Cunningham Fletcher as they sang traditional songs from their home country.

These recordings, now stored in the Library of Congress, predate the next known recordings of Korean music, made in Japan, by eleven years. The recordings are part of the fascinating story of early Korea-U.S. relations in the turbulent late nineteenth century.

This lecture by University of Maryland professor Robert C. Provine, illustrated with images and audio excerpts, explores the historical circumstances and musical significance of these early recordings, and it touches on a remarkable cast of characters. Among them were Korean revolutionaries from the unsuccessful coup d’état of 1884, a pioneer of American ethnomusicology, a group of Korean musicians sent to the World Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, collections of Korean musical instruments at U.S. museums, and the first Korean graduate of an American college.

Event Sponsor
Center for Korean Studies, Mānoa Campus

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Merclyn Labuguen, 956-7041,,

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