In 2003, the Korean singing tradition of p'ansori joined the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, a distinctive honor bestowed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
P'ansori is a music genre-an oral tradition comprising arias and narratives.
Often the individual singer acts out the story of young and old, good and bad, and male and female.
In Korean P'ansori Singing Tradition: Development, Authenticity, and Performance History, Yeonok Jang studies the periodical developments and changes in the performance context, vocal developments, singing style, audience involvement, contemporary performance, cinematic history, and private and government sponsorship of p'ansori.
Covering the period from the early development of p'ansori, including the origins and early formation of the genre, to contemporary performance, Jang surveys this remarkable genre of storytelling, song, theater, and performance.
Throughout, she considers not only issues of historical context but also questions of cultural identity, past and present.
Researchers in the fields of Korean studies, folk music, oral history, ethnic music, narrative and theatrical music, and cultural studies will find this work of significant value.