1600s - 1900s
Traditional Korean opera performed by one female vocalist, an accompanying drummer, and little to no set.
1910s - 1980s
Two-beat pop music influenced by ballroom dancing. Listeners can't help but clap along!
Post War Era
1950s - 1970s
The pre-cursor to K-pop, this music was influenced by Western styles imported by U.S. soldiers stationed in Korea. Some popular groups, like the Kim Sisters, went on world tours.
Group Sound Era
1960s - 1980s
Beginning on U.S. military bases, Korean musicians performed soldiers' favorite rock 'n' roll tunes from home. Once it caught on, the government heavily censored the sex and drugs right out of the rock 'n' roll.
1970s - 1980s
Just as like the hippies in the U.S., Korean University students grew out their hair, put on blue jeans, and strummed guitars to the tune of simple, anti-government melodies.
1980s - 2000s
Just like U.S. classic rock, K-rock brought the electric guitars, synthesizers, bright lights, and sunglasses, to the stage.
1990s - 2010s
Just like in Britain, the Korean Punk scene was small, vibrant, and underground.
K-hip hop Era
1990s - today
Inspired by U.S. hip hop music, K-hip hop often comes from the studio, not the streets, although there is an increasingly popular underground scene.
1990s - today
It's all about the good looks, synchronized dance moves, and personality. K-pop groups and soloists experiment with a range of styles and media.
Flash Mob at gwanghwamun square
Students from all over the world, including myself, performed in a flashmob dancing to Twice's TT in one of Seoul's main city centers, Gwanghwamun Square. Find me in the second row wearing a bright pink skirt and white shirt!
(The video on the right was inspiration.)