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Structural Formulae of Melodies in the Two Sacred Buddhist Chant Styles of Korea Byong Won Lee UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII KOREAN Buddhism is characterized by its variety of ritual performing arts. Historical records related to the Three Kingdoms and United Silla periods show that Buddhist music and dance had vital roles in intensifying the religious experience in rites. Korean Buddhist music in its early stages shows Chinese influence, but an early Japanese diary states that Korean Buddhist music had developed unique characteristics. The acceptance of Buddhism as the national religion during the Koryö dynasty (918-1392) probably stimulated the development of various ritual performing arts, although the historical sources of the period are not sufficient to prove this. In spite ofthe official prohibition of Buddhism in the Yi dynasty (1392-1910), the practice of Buddhist performing arts has survived to the present, although much decreased in popularity. Buddhist ritual performing arts include several styles ofritual chant, outdoor band music, and ritual dances. Among these, ritual chants assume the most important place in Buddhist rites. Sutras in Sanskrit or Chinese are the simplest chants in terms of musical structure. Hwach'öng is the only chant style that employs Korean vernacular language and folksong-style melodic contours and rhythmic patterns. These secular elements of the music were probably developed to make the religion more accessible to the laity. Pömp'ae, based on the Chinese language and poetic forms, is artistically the most highly developed ritual chant style in Korea. Its performance takes place only in a limited number of special rites. Pömp'ae includes two different musical styles : hossori (simple chant) and chissori (long solemn chant). Some texts may be performed in either of these styles, but certain texts are limited to just one style. This study is a descriptive introduction and analytical examination 111 112BYONG WON LEE of the musical structure of the hossori and chissori styles of pömp'ae. It covers the categorization of melodic formula and ornamental pattern, characteristics of optional interpolating melodies, tonal structure, text style, and performance techniques. An immediate application of the descriptive theories of the hossori and chissori styles of pömp'ae is attempted through analysis of one representative example from the repertoire ofeach style. Some briefhistorical background is also provided. Pömp'ae is a special style of solemn ritual chant performed only in association with special rites, for example, Kakpae-che, a rite in praise of ten saints of the other world ; Saengjön yesu-che, a rite to purify past life in preparation for nirvana; Sangju kwön'gong-je, a rite to put the whole mind to Buddha; and Yöngsan-je, a tribute rite. These rites are undertaken only once in a year or in several years, and the pömp'ae repertoires have a major role in fulfilling the process of the rites. Numerous historical records of East Asian countries agree that pömp'ae was originated by Ts'ao Ch'ih (192-232), the fourth son of the Emperor Wu-ti of China, in the early third century. There are several different versions of the origin. One frequently quoted legend is that Ts'ao Ch'ih was inspired by the supernatural sound that he heard at Yuchan (Fish Mountain) in Shantung. From this mystical experience he created the solemn ritual chant called pömp'ae.1 The word pömp'ae corresponds to the Chinesefan-pei and Japanese bombai and is derived from the Sanskrit brahma bhan (sacred chant). Pömp'ae is used interchangeably with ösan (fish mountain; Ch., yu-chan), an allusion to the mountain where Ts'ao Ch'ih heard the supernatural sound, or pömüm (Sanskrit sound; Ch., fan-yin).2 Sometimes, pömp'ae is abbreviated as pom (Sanskrit) or simply as p'ae (chant). In Japan, pömp'ae is sometimes called gyobon, which is obviously borrowed from the initial characters ofösan andpömp'ae. In Söngmun üiböm [Exemplar for Buddhist liturgies], ösan refers to the pömp'ae chorus musicians as well as to pömp'ae itself, and indo (to lead) refers to the master chanter of the pömp'ae performance.3...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 111-196
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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