HKOB0106FU KOR, Korean popular music in context (F21)

Volume 2020/2021
  • Curriculum for the BA programme in Korean Studies, The 2015 Curriculum
  • Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Korean studies The 2019 Curriculum
  • Curriculum for the BA Elective Studies in Cross Cultural Studies, The 2019 Curriculum
  • Curriculum for MA Elective Studies in Cross Cultural Studies The 2019 Curriculum



This is a class for those who want to use popular music as a tool to more deeply understand contemporary Korea. The class will address Korean popular music from the turn of the twentieth century to the latest K-pop hits, all while noting the ways that the changing musical tastes of Korean people are linked to historical, social, and cultural shifts on the Korean peninsula as well as music and performance related trends that influenced Korea from abroad. Students are not expected to be deeply familiar with Korean music, history, culture, or language. Class will use abundant music and video clips, incorporate discussions based on academic articles and chapters, and require student analysis that connects popular music to its context. The classroom will be flipped with primarily discussion and activities in class and student preparation for class may include viewing short (5 to 7 minute) video lectures as well as reading.

Learning Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course students will:

  • Understand the history, industry, contexts of production, practices of dissemination, forms of reception, and various genres of Korean popular music from 1900 to the present.
  • Discuss K-pop as a phenomenon that reaches beyond musical production—such as the importance of specific fan culture; the wide influence of visual mediums on K-pop due to the videos, advertisements, and appearance of K-pop stars in TV shows, dramas, movies, and musical theatre; and the role of dance in/on K-pop.
  • Analyze K-pop within the context of contemporary Korean culture and social issues.
  • Embody K-pop through creating a cover video with a team (accompanied by short individual reflexive essays) or embody K-pop knowledge through creating a video essay with a team.
  • Discuss how K-pop is distinct from / similar to other global pop music, taking into specific account topics such as transculturation and adaptation of foreign forms into Korean music, non-Korean influence on K-pop production (from fans, artists, production team members, and markets), and other contradictory / complex aspects of the musical style.
  • Gain confidence in how to analyze music, music videos, and musical performance.
Learning Outcome

Korean BA 2015-Curriculum:
Korean Content Course 3 (activity code HKOB00891E)

Korean BA Elective 2019-Curriculum:
Korean Content Course 1 (activity code HKOB10121E)
Korean Content Course 3 (activity code HKOB10141E)

Cross Cultural Studies BA Elective 2019-Curriculum:
Regional topic A (activity code HTÆB10001E)
Regional topic B (activity code HTÆB10011E)
Regional topic A with language (activity code HTÆB10021E)
Regional topic B with language (activity code HTÆB10031E)

Cross Cultural Studies MA Elective 2019-Curriculum:
Regional Specialisation topic A (activity code HTÆK13061E)
Regional Specialisation topic B (activity code HTÆK13062E)
Regional Specialisation with language A (activity code HTÆK13071E)
Regional Specialisation with language B (activity code HTÆK13072E)

Will be available in Absalon

It is recommended that students have passed the course: Introduction to Korean Studies, Modern: Korean History, Society, and Culture after the Opening of Korea.
For elective students there are no recommendations
Workshop, Team teaching, group work, guidance and lectures
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 328,5
  • Practical exercises
  • 28
  • Total
  • 412,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment