Encore!: Homecoming Recitals in Christian South Korea

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Encore!: Homecoming Recitals in Christian South Korea

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Title: Encore!: Homecoming Recitals in Christian South Korea
Author: Harkness, Nicholas H.
Citation: Harkness, Nicholas H. 2012. “Encore!: Homecoming Recitals in Christian South Korea.” Journal of Korean Studies 17 (2): 351-381. doi:10.1353/jks.2012.0026.
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Abstract: "Homecoming Recitals" (kwiguk tokch'anghoe) in South Korea are events in which singers of European-style classical music, after having studied and worked professionally abroad, return home and are integrated into the social and musical life of Seoul. This article explores what appear to be blatant contradictions in the key elements of the recital. Although the recitals are presented as public events and the singers as professionals, the audience consists almost entirely of persons related to the singer through kinship, school, or church. And although the recitals consist of secular art and operatic music, they almost always end with an encore featuring a Christian hymn or song. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research in the churches and colleges of music in Seoul, I explain how these seemingly contradictory elements, in fact, work together in the ritual function of the recital, which I argue is to manage the transition from "abroad" to "home" by producing transformative effects for both performer and audience.
Published Version: doi:10.1353/jks.2012.0026
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33725223
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