RUB » Faculty » Korean Studies » Staff » Byeon, Gyewon (Affiliated Researcher)

Dr. Byeon, Gyewon (변계원)

Postal address:
Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
Sektion Sprache und Kultur Koreas
44780 Bochum

Street address:
Room: 2/08
Universitaetsstr. 134
44801 Bochum
Tel.: +49 (0) 234 32-22919
Fax: +49 (0) 234 32-14787
About her

Dr. Byeon is not only active in the academia of musicology but is also deeply involved in the composition and performance of traditional Korean music. She studied traditional Korean music and musical composition as an undergraduate at Seoul National University (SNU), and also received her M.A. in traditional Korean music composition from SNU (M.A. Thesis: A Study on the Chihwap'yeong I, II & III and Chwip'unghyeong). She received her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London (Ph.D. Thesis: Ch'angjak Kugak: Writing New Music for Korean Traditional Instruments).

Since 2003, she has been teaching in a number of universities: Seoul National University, the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU) and Seoul National University of Education (SNUE). Her teaching includes subjects such as Korean Music Culture, Composition Practice, Music Analysis, World Music, and Korean Traditional Culture. She has recently taught students in City University of Hong Kong (2012) and Vietnam Hanoi University (2013) about Korean Culture through the internet. These courses were supported by the Korea Foundation (KF). She has given a number of special lectures not only at universities but also for public audiences.

She has written numerous academic articles, in English and Korean, for publication in academic journals, and has published books. Articles include "To Formulate Globalization of Korean Traditional Children's songs for Multicultural Music Education", "Western Influence and Changes in Korean Music", and "The Improvement of the Gayagum and a piece for the 21-string"; books include Writing New Music for Korean Traditional Instruments (Minsokwon) and Music of Korea (NCKTPA).

She was a research fellow at the Oriental Music Research Center in Seoul National University (Sep. 2009 - Aug. 2011), and Seoul National University of Education (Sep. 2003 - Aug. 2005). She was Secretary of the Korean Society for Music Research and is a member of the Korean Society for Traditional Music, the Society for Korean History Musicology, the Korean Society of Women Composers, the International Council for Traditional Music, and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. She has worked as a music commentator on various broadcast programs in Korea. The program "World Music for Us" on KBS 3FM from May to Dec. 2010 is one example. She has a variety of experience as an examiner in various music competitions, and as a consultant in administrative works related to traditional music industry.

Her compositions include pieces using different traditional music instruments, and as well as Korea, these have been performed in Japan, the USA, Austria and Great Britain. Several of her pieces were commissioned by such renowned institutions and orchestras as KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), Kyunggi Korean Traditional Music Orchestras, Chonbuk Korean Traditional Music Orchestras, the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, the Department of Korean Music of Seoul National University, and the Arts and Humanities Research Board of England. The sixth recital of her compositions was held in Seoul in 2010. A special achievement was a series of concerts of her compositions held as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival over several days in 2006. She also published CDs of her compositions and score books of her music in 2006, 2009 and 2011. For these accomplishments, she was awarded the KBS Grand Prize for a composer in the Korean traditional music world in 2006 and the Composition of the Year Award, by the Association of Korean Musicians in 2009. About eleven CDs with her music are available in Korea today.

She is currently an affiliated researcher in the Department of Korean Studies at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany.

Teaching experience

Sep. 2010 - July 2014: Sookmyung Women's University

  • Korean Culture Face to Face, In Search of Korean Culture, E-Class with Vietnam Hanoi University and City University of Hong Kong (all in English)

Mar. 2005 - Feb. 2011: KAIST

  • Understanding Korean Music, Understanding World Music, Music Theory and Composition (all in English)

Sep. 2004 - Aug. 2011: Seoul National University of Education

  • World Music Education for Post-Graduate students, Theory and Practice in Music Education, Arrangement Method for Chorus and Ensemble

Sep. 2008 - Feb. 2010: Chonnam National University

  • Korean Music Analysis for Ph.D. students, Ethnomusicology, Harmony, Composition

Mar. 2008 - Aug.2008: Kookmin University

  • Composition for Traditional Instruments, Introduction to Korean Traditional Music

Sep. 2001 - Aug. 2006: Seoul National University

  • Theory and Composition, World Music, Traditional Music and Computer, Ethnomusicology

Aug. 2005 -Feb. 2007: Chonju National University of Education

  • Theory and Practice in Music Education

Sep. 2003 - Aug. 2005: Hanyang University

  • Introduction to Ethnomusicology
Publications, Premieres & Recitals