Granted, the above is not necessarily a pure example of the genre, but I have a fondness for 트로트 (trot) music. Trot music is basically the earliest form of Korean pop music that started to appear during the Japanese occupation (1890-1945) and continued in some flavor or another well into the 1980s. It tends to be a little campy and relies on incredibly simple melody, but is just mesmerizing. This is especially true when I was sitting on the bus during my daily commute in my Seoul days (1998-2006).

Think Nancy Sinatra and Petula Clark and Eartha Kitt all rolled into one.

Wikipedia has more information:

“Trot music has received criticism from nationalists, who allege that it derives from the Japanese music genre of enka, especially its scale. Defenders of trot, however, claim that it had begun to develop prior to the Japanese invasion, and simply developed in parallel with the Japanese style. The name itself derives from a shortening of “foxtrot”, a ballroom dance which influenced the characteristic simple beat of the genre.

The popularity of trot music declined seriously in 1990s due to the great hit of “Hayeoga” by Seo Taiji and Boys. After that, dance music was the main stream of Korean pop music and trot was pushed into minor genre in Korean pop music scene.”

You can read the full Wikipedia article.

The video is of 윤복희 (Yoon Bok Hee), the closest thing that Korean music has to a diva. She is in a class by herself.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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