THE LEGACY AND INFLUENCES OF ISANG YUN'S MUSICAL AESTHETICS
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Isang Yun (1917-1995) is relatively unknown in the United States; however, that is not the case in Europe and Asia. Even after two decades, his legacy lives on with a reputation as a highly regarded composer, consummate artist, pedagogue, and humanitarian. His cultural contribution to the musical arts continues to be highly respected. Venerated as the father of Korean Contemporary Classical Music, Isang Yun combined idiomatic traditional Korean music, and aspects of Taoism and Buddhism with the compositional techniques of classical Western music. Yun’s music is multi-dimensional, extremely textural, and highly expressive. His music expands the flute sonority palette, has a distinctive melodic style through the “Main Tone”, and employs horizontal and vertical manipulation of rhythmic and intervallic relationships. Due to these unique qualities, it is important to provide greater exposure to Isang Yun’s music through studying, programming, and performing his works. Isang Yun’s style is a product of his composition professors: Tony Aubin, from the Paris Conservatory: and Boris Blacher, from the West Berlin Hochschule. Blacher had more influence on Yun, and Yun, in turn, passed on his craft and knowledge to his own pupils. This dissertation will survey works by Isang Yun, and his two composition professors Tony Aubin and Boris Blacher, demonstrating their influence on Yun. Works by two living former students of Yun, Toshio Hosokawa (b. 1955) and Michail Travlos (b. 1950) will also surveyed to show Yun’s influence on younger generations of composers. This paper will explore and examine the pieces from a performer’s perspective to better understand Yun’s overall aesthetic and musical heritage.