Korean Literature on Created Pansori (창작판소리)

In preparation for a presentation on various ways of performing pansori (to be held at a conference on “Performing Arts in Contemporary Asia: Tradition and Travel”, at Royal Holloway, Univ. of London), I looked up some literature on changjak pansori (창작판소리). I will share the resulting brief (and incomplete) bibliography which consists of recent essays published in Korean journals as well as MA theses (and a sole PhD thesis) written at Korean universities. But first a few basics on the subject matter…

“Changjak” (창작 / 創作) means “creativity” – “composition” – “original creation”. The term combines the syllables 創 =비롯할 창, begin, create, make (as in 창조 “creation” or 창립 “foundation”) and 作 = 지을, 만들 작, compose, write, make (as in 작품 “work of art” or 작가 “author”).

In most cases, the term changjak pansori simply designates pansori pieces outside the traditional “canon of five” (i.e. the Song of Chunhyang, Simcheong, Heungbo, Underwater Palace, Red Cliff), in other words “newly made” works in the style of pansori. These are usually contrasted with “traditional pansori” (전통판소리).

Instead of translating “changjak” as “new”, “newly created, composed, produced” or even “creative”, in this context I prefer the opposition of “transmitted” and “created” pansori, highlighting the existential gap between those two kinds of literary-musical works contemporary pansori performances are based on. In contrast to the transmitted works of pansori—who by definition have no single author, merely keepers who pass them on to their students, thus continuing their genealogy—changjak pansori pieces are usually performed by their respective authors and, with few notable exceptions, do not get transmitted (at least not yet).

Chan E. Park deals  with changjak pansori on some pages in her book Voices from the Straw Mat (pp. 126–145). She provides several translations and also analyses motives from transmitted pansori featured in created ones. However, the most comprehensive and up-to-date English-language study Hae-kyung Um, “New P’ansori in Twenty-first-century Korea: Creative Dialectics of Tradition and Modernity” (Asian Theatre Journal 25.1, Spring 2008, pp. 24-57).

As a background for her discussion of recent works, Um classifies earlier changjak pansori (“a postcolonial creation”, 27) based on their subject matter and intention:

  • Patriotic pansori, mostly in the period right after the end of World War II, by established pansori singers, aiming to inspire national pride as a relief from colonial domination, focusing on heros from the distant past (like Yi Sun-sin [이순신, 1545–98]) as well as from more recent periods (e.g. Yi Jun [이준, 1859–1907] or Ahn Jung-geun [안중근, 1879–1910]), most notably the Songs of the Patriots (열사가) by PARK  Dong-sil (박동실, 1897–1968 in North Korea)
  • Religious pansori, likewise by well-known singers who follow the models provided by transmitted pansori, often on commission for specific events and in relation to historical Korean martyrs, monks etc., The Song of Jesus (예수전 aka 예수가, 1969/70) by PARK Dongjin (박동진, 1916–2003), probably the most famous religious pansori, is a notable exception as the piece is based on the biblical gospels;
  • Sociopolitical pansori, in contrast generally by semiprofessionals in collaboration or based on the works of contemporary writers, “both artists and audiences, who tend to be of the young urban middle class, consider this musical form as a vehicle for social and ideological commentary” (28), directed against the dictatorial regime of the 80s, representative works by LIM Jin-taek (임진택, * 1950) based on poems by KIM Chi-ha(김지하, *1941). (Cf. Lim’s writing on pansori in 임진택,『민중연희의 창조』, 창작과비평사, 1990.)

In contrast to these “classical” forms of changjak pansori, in recent years young singers have used many new approaches to turn pansori into a more contemporary art form:

  • a wider range of topics, including everyday life, personal and social problems relevant to different generations (while earlier works focused on historical persons or events)
  • an emphasis of humor over tragedy
  • a language closer to colloquial Korean, including slang and common loanwords
  • creative costumes and props (instead of the traditional hanbok-and-fan attire)
  • self-appointed small-time performers (또랑광대) instead of accomplished master singers (명창), a wink towards the grass roots of early pansori (although most of the protagonists are trained singers)
  • new performance venues (e.g. on the street in Insa-dong), growing presence in mass media, including the internet
  • “Although nationalist sentiment has not disappeared all together, ubiquitous patriotism and anti-Japanese sentiment prevalent in the twentieth century new p’ansori have now given way to a gentler form of cultural nationalism and cosmopolitan attitudes.” (32)

Many of Um’s points are discussed in more detail in the constantly growing body of Korean-language papers on changjak pansori. Apart from a few general studies, most of them deal with specific authors, genres (e.g. changjak pansori aimed at children), or works.

KIM Yeon’s systematic historization (“Study on the process of development of the Created Pansori”, 2007) seems a good start. The text discusses the relevant literature, problematizes the definition of changjak pansori (arguing for a broader scope that also includes pansori pieces based on classical novels [신작 판소리] as well as “restorated pansori“, i.e. existing scripts supplemented with newly created music [복원 판소리]), and provides long lists of works according to his chronology that kind of coincides with Um’s categories:

  1. fetal era (태동기): colonial period [inc. patriotic works],
  2. dark era (암혹기): 1950s – early 60s [no new works],
  3. era of search (탐색기): late 1960s – 70s [inc. religious works],
  4. take-off era (도약기): 1980s – 90s [many sociopolitical works],
  5. era of revival (부흥기): 2000 – now [young generation of singers].

The following bibliography is for the most part drawn from Pansori Yeongu (판소리연구, “Pansori Studies”, the bi-annual organ of the Pansori Hakhoe [판소리학회, “Pansori Society”])—that is available for free download! Just go to the homepage of the Pansori Hakhoe, choose “학회지” and then “바로가기 클릭”, which brings you to the archives, browsable by issue or keyword.

My bibliography also includes English titles by the authors (which explains inconsistencies in romanization; titles translated by myself are marked with an asterisk*). Abstracts and tables of contents of most articles, sometimes in English, can be found in the RISS database.

General studies

김연,「창작판소리 발전과정 연구」(Study on the process of development of the Created Pansori), 판소리연구 24, 2007. 

조동일,「판소리 사설 재창조 점검」(“Examination of Recreated Pansori Scripts”*), 판소리연구 1, 1989.

김기형,「창작 판소리의 사적 전개와 요청적 과제」(Historical Development of Changjak Pansori and its Task), 구비문학연구 18, 2004. (also in 판소리학회 제43차 학술발표회, 2003)

이규호,「창작판소리의 음악 짜임새 – 2001년~2003년에 발표된 작품을 대상으로」(The musical plots of new Pansoris), 판소리연구 17, 2004.

김현주,「창작 판소리 사설의 직조방식」(About the storytelling way of newly Pansori), 판소리연구 17, 2004.

유영대,「20세기 창작판소리의 존재양상과 의미」(The Aspect and Significance of Newly producted Pansori in 20th Century), 한국민속학 39, 2004. (download of the whole issue)

서우종,「창작 판소리 연구」(A study on the modern Pansori), 인천대학교 교육대학원 석사학위논문, 2007.

김영주,「19세기말~20세기 판소리 변모양상 연구」(A Study on the Aspect of the change in Pansori from the last 19th to the 20th century), 경북대학교 대학원 국어국문학과 ,박사학위논문, 2010.

General studies on changjak pansori in the 21st century (“ttorang-gwangdae” movement)

김기형,「’인사동 거리소리판’의 성격과 문화적 의의」(The Characters and the cultural meaning of ‘Insadong Street Soripan’), 우리어문연구 20, 2003.

박흥주,「전통 소리판의 현대적 재현 – 또랑광대를 중심으로」(Today’s revival of traditional Soripan : Ttorang-kwangdae), 구비문학연구 22, 2006.

정혜정,「또랑광대 창작판소리 연구」(A Study on the Newly Pansori of “Ttorang-gwangdae”), 전남대학교 대학원 석사학위논문, 2008.

Analyses of specific singers

김기형,「판소리 명창 박동실의 의식지향과 현대판소리사에 끼친 영향」(The way of thinking of Pansori master signer Parkdongsil, and his influence on the development of modern Pansori), 판소리연구 13, 2002.

정병헌,「명창 박동실의 선택과 판소리사적 의의」 (Park Dongsil’s Choice and its Meaning in Pansori History), 한국민속학 36, 2002. (download of the whole issue)

배성자,「박동실 판소리 연구」(A Study On The Pansori By Pack Dongsil), 전남대학교 대학원, 석사학위논문, 2008.

김기형,「판소리명창 박동진의 예술세계와 현대 판소리사적 위치」(The Artistic World of Singer Park Dongjin and Pansori History Today*), 어문논집 37 (민족어문학회), 1998.

Analyses of specific works

박경화,「창작판소리 박동실 명창의 안중근 ‘의사가’ 연구」(A Study of An Jung-geun Patriot Song composed by the famous Singer of the newly created pansori, Park Dong-sil), 동국대학교 석사학위논문, 2010.

이유진,「창작판소리 〈예수전〉 연구」(A Study of the Newly Created Pansori <Jesujeon>), 판소리연구 27, 2009.

정국진,「전통 판소리와 창작 판소리의 구조와 미학 대비 – 장자백 창본 춘향가와 〈오월광주〉, 〈똥바다〉, 〈오적〉, 〈소리내력〉을 대상으로」(A Comparison between the Structure and Aesthetics of Transmitted and Created Pansori, based on <Chunhyang-ga> as Performed by Jang Ja-baek and the newly created pieces <May in Kwangju>, <Sea of Shit>, <Five Bandits>, <History of a Sound> [by Lim Jin-taek]*), 서강대학교 교육 대학원 석사학위논문, 1997.

이진원,「한국전쟁 소재 연변판소리 〈떡메의 증오〉의 음악적 고찰」(A Musical Study of <Hatred of the Rice Cake Mallet>, a Pansori from Yanbian which deals with the Korean War*), 판소리연구 17, 2004.

김영희,「창작판소리 〈서동가〉 연구」(Creation of Pansori <SeoDong Ga> Study), 동아대학교 교육대학원 석사학위논문, 2007. RISS

조춘화,「창작판소리의 국어교육 활용 방안 연구 – 김명자 作 〈슈퍼댁 씨름대회 출전기〉를 대상으로」(A Study on the Utilization of Modern Pansori in Korean Language Education  – Focused on <Superdaek Ssireumdaehwoe Chuljungi> written by Kim Myeong-ja), 전남대학교 교육대학원 석사학위논문, 2011.

이경미,「또랑광대의 창작 판소리 사설의 문체적 특징과 전통계승 – 김명자 作〈슈퍼댁 씨름대회 출전기〉와〈슈퍼마징가 며느리〉를 중심으로」(A literary Style feature and tradition succession of the Newly Created Pansori Narrative Song of Ddoranggwangdae : With Special Reference to <Superdaek Ssireumdaehwoe Chuljungi> and <Supermajingga Myeonri> written by Kim Myeongja), 중앙대학교 교육대학원 석사학위논문, 2008.

박진아,「〈스타대전 저그 초반러쉬 대목〉을 통한 창작 판소리의 가능성 고찰」(A Study on the possibility of new pansori by Pansori Stardaegeon Zerg chobanrush daemok), 판소리연구 21, 2006.

신동흔,「창작 판소리의 길과〈바리데기 바리공주〉」(The Way of Newly Created Pansori and <Baridegi, Princess Bari>), 판소리연구 30, 2010.

Articles on changjak pansori for children

진은진,「어린이를 위한 창작 판소리의 현황과 특징」 (About the aspect and characteristics of newly Pansori for Juvenile), 판소리연구 25, 2008.

진은진,「어린이 판소리의 설화 수용 양상 -〈나라 구한 방귀 며느리〉를 중심으로」(The Reception of Folk-tale in Children”s Pansori), 국어국문학 149, 2008.

— June 2011


About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in Bibliographics, Pansori and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Korean Literature on Created Pansori (창작판소리)

  1. CB Saeji says:

    nice one, Jan!

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