Monday, January 19, 2015

Variations on a Korean Folk Song

Man's heart is like water streaming downhill;
Woman's heart is well water—so deep and still.

Young men's love is like pinecones seeming sound,
But when the wind blows, they fall to the ground.
~from "Bonjo Arirang"

Maybe a lot of people who have been in band or attended band concerts have heard this great piece? It was inspired by “Arirang,” which John Barnes Chance chanced upon in Korea.

Andy Pease has some interesting information about the composer (and links) on his blog:
John Barnes Chance (1932-1972)... [played] percussion with the Fourth and Eighth U.S. Army Bands during the Korean War. Upon his discharge, he received a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Project, leading to his placement as resident composer in the Greensboro, North Carolina public schools...He went on to become a professor at the University of Kentucky after winning the American Bandmasters Association’s Ostwald award for his Variations on a Korean Folk Song. Chance was accidentally electrocuted in his backyard in Lexington, Kentucky at age 39, bringing his promising career to an early, tragic end.

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