Música [religiosa] moderna en Corea del Norte / Modern North Korean [Religious] Music
Korhonen, P. (2017). Música [religiosa] moderna en Corea del Norte / Modern North Korean [Religious] Music. In W. Min (Ed.), Comunicación política, diplomática y sociocultural entre Corea y el mundo. Macul: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
© Korhonen & Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2017.
Music is a field where North Korea has been for decades engaging in consistent though not extensive international exchanges. Music is there a major national art form, on which a considerable amount of national resourcesis devoted, and the quality of musical education is high. Its practical uses are almost solely devoted to maintaining the legitimacy of the state and its leading dynasty up to a level where the distinction between nationalism and religion visibly evaporates. The musical establishment is hierarchically organized. At the top are court orchestras, such as the former Unhasu Orchestra, or the currently favoured Moranbong Band, whose style and repertoire is closely controlled by the highest leadership. These are then followed by a large amount of lesser ensembles. The members of these orchestras are cultural soldiers, whose commission is to defend the state against foreign cultural intrusions, most of all those from South Korea in the form of TV shows and popular music. Both because of this, and because of the tradition of socialist realism in art modelled in the Soviet Union, most North Korean music has for decades been light popular music with easy melodies, accompanied by emotional lyrics worshipful towards the party and the Kimist dynasty, so that the message can be easily consumed by the populace. Yet, the field is far from stagnant. Various international influences are cautiously imported, new styles are created, and the state actively tries to defend itself in its cultural war against the outside. ...