This paper examines Seong Hyeon’s life under the perspective of musicology and the trend of musical culture during his time based on his written records. Seong Hyeon was a 15th century literati and government official as well as a music enthusiast, thoroughly enjoying music culture throughout his lifetime while serving as a supervisor of Jangakwon and a publisher of the nation’s music records such as the Akhakgwebeom, the “Akhakgwebeomseo,” the “Hyeongeumhapjaboseo,” the Heobaekdangjip, and the Yongjaechonghwa which are significant from a music history perspective in particular because such details are not described in the royal chronicles. Additionally, his writings not only present the establishment of nation’s ceremonial music, but also show how it was performed. These musical documents reveal the state of the royal music institute, the existence of the Hyeongeumhapjabo, and the way the 15th Joseon literati enjoyed music culture. While there has been some interest in musicology circles on Seong as the author of the Akhakgwebeom, researches on the music and dance mentioned in his various records have rarely existed. This paper, therefore, will take a closer look into Seong Hyeon’s records, in order to firstly investigate his point of view as a supervisor of the Royal Music Institute on the history and development of court and secondly examine Seong’s affection for the geomungo instrument and his contemporaries’ musical enjoyment.
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