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Music, Measurements, Pitch Survivals, and Bell Shapes in Korea

Robert C. Provine
The World of Music
Vol. 49, No. 3, Music and Politics on the Korean Peninsula (2007), pp. 13-30
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41699786
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Music, Measurements, Pitch Survivals, and Bell Shapes in Korea
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Abstract

The young Chosŏn dynasty court, in keeping with long-standing Chinese Confucian tradition, needed to establish in the early fifteenth century a new set of standardized measurements (length, weight, and volume) for use in the kingdom. The measurements were all proportionately related, so that if one were fixed, all the others were also thereby determined. Following Chinese precedent, the Koreans did considerable research into the establishing of a fundamental musical pitch from which the other twelve pitches in the musical system could be determined, and the length of the pitch pipe which produced this fundamental pitch in turn constituted a basic unit of length from which the other standard measurements could be calculated.

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