North Korea’s Drift Towards “Our Style” Electronic Music (1975-1991)

North Korea’s Drift Towards “Our Style” Electronic Music (1975-1991) promotional image

The Korean Studies Research Network, an International Programs affinity group, hosts this lecture presented by Dr. Peter Moody, research professor at Korea University’s Research Institute of Korean Studies. Dr. Moody will present the emergence of North Korean-style electronic music, which not only enlivened indigenous Korean music with a fresh timbre, but also aimed to raise the quality of electronic music worldwide in a healthier direction.

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As the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) state sought to spread its ideological messages and fervor to a new generation of North Koreans who had not actively experienced war mobilization, it increasingly drew on the capitalist world's soundscape, adopting orchestration and arrangement practices of global music genres such as rock and disco. At the same time it incorporated these outside forms of entertainment, it also emphasized nation over class in artistic production. The outcome of this tinkering and (North) Korean exceptionalism was the emergence of “our-style electronic music.”

Dr. Peter Moody is a research professor at Korea University’s Research Institute of Korean Studies. He recently received his PhD from Columbia University and is a historian specializing in the industrialization, ideological development, intellectual history, mass media, and cultural politics of the two Koreas. He is currently preparing a book manuscript titled Mobilizing Musicians and the Making of North Korea.

The Korean Studies Research Network aims to bring together scholars whose research focuses on Korea-related topics and to provide mentoring to the younger generation of scholars. It serves as a platform to facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research among scholars and graduate students at the University of Iowa and institutions of higher education in the Midwest through seminars, speaker series, and workshops.

This event is made possible through generous support from the Korea Foundation.

Thursday, April 11, 2024 5:00pm to 6:30pm
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Daniel Vorwerk in advance at 319-467-1619 or