DoYeon Kim


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I have had many opportunities to collaborate with western-trained musicians over my last eight years living in Boston. Coming from a Korean traditional music background, I believe that exchange between different musical traditions can create deep synergistic music with unique possibilities. The purpose of my thesis project is to explore this space, and develop methods for playing global music that move beyond the “fusion” paradigm, which often results in selective and contrived combinations of different musical traditions. With this in mind, I developed an approach for collaboration between Korean traditional instruments and contemporary composition that focuses on rhythm, melody, and harmony. Specific outcomes include: (1) ways to avoid playing third intervals (major and minor) in chord voicings, which enables a harmonic space compatible with the note ornamentations and microtones essential to the Korean tradition; and (2) a combination of time signature and polyrhythms that approximate the Korean breathing cycle concept for western musicians. Generally speaking, this work serves as an example template for collaborative world music.

Publication Date



Boston Campus


Project Components: paper (.pdf), presentation (.pdf), audio files (ZIP file containing 3 .wav files), scores (ZIP file containing 2 .pdf, 1 .jpg).

True Collaborative Music