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A Study on the Function and Transmission of Korean Folk Songs In Korea, the word for folk songs is minyo 民謠, which literally means ‘the songs of the people.’ As in many other countries, particularly in Korea the phenomenon of folk singing does not show a clear distinction between professional and amateur. Today, however, Korean folk songs would be divided into two kinds according to the singers:one is popular folk songs by professional singers which is commonly known as t'ongsok minyo 通俗民謠; and the other, local or regional folk songs by ordinary people known as hyangt'o minyo 鄕土民謠 or t'osok minyo 土俗民謠. The popular folk songs are known everywhere, to practically every one, and they are frequently recorded by professional singers, whereas the regional folk songs are felt to be specific to a limited geographical area and are sung by ordinary folk living there. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the function and transmission of Korean folk songs based on its text. This paper deals with such topics as 1) Introduction, 2) The Function and Text of Minyo, 3) The Cultural Meaning of Minyo, 4) The Present State and Transmissions of Minyo, 5) Conclusion. On the basis of examining the text and function of minyo, it is concluded that the telling function of minyo text should be considered and encouraged in terms of the present socio-cultural context.


A Study on the Function and Transmission of Korean Folk Songs In Korea, the word for folk songs is minyo 民謠, which literally means ‘the songs of the people.’ As in many other countries, particularly in Korea the phenomenon of folk singing does not show a clear distinction between professional and amateur. Today, however, Korean folk songs would be divided into two kinds according to the singers:one is popular folk songs by professional singers which is commonly known as t'ongsok minyo 通俗民謠; and the other, local or regional folk songs by ordinary people known as hyangt'o minyo 鄕土民謠 or t'osok minyo 土俗民謠. The popular folk songs are known everywhere, to practically every one, and they are frequently recorded by professional singers, whereas the regional folk songs are felt to be specific to a limited geographical area and are sung by ordinary folk living there. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the function and transmission of Korean folk songs based on its text. This paper deals with such topics as 1) Introduction, 2) The Function and Text of Minyo, 3) The Cultural Meaning of Minyo, 4) The Present State and Transmissions of Minyo, 5) Conclusion. On the basis of examining the text and function of minyo, it is concluded that the telling function of minyo text should be considered and encouraged in terms of the present socio-cultural context.