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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

An Ik-tae

Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare

Musician who pioneered Western-style music in Korea and composed the tune now used for the South Korean national anthem in 1936.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

AN IK-TAE (1905-1965). Musician who pioneered Western-style music in Korea, and who composed the tune now used for the South Korean national anthem in 1936. An was born in Pyongyang and studied music in Japan and the United States. From the late 1930s until1959, he spent most of his time in Europe, where he established a name both as a conductor and composer. In 1959 he returned to South Korea, and remained active in musical circles until his death in Majorca, Spain. The current South Korean national anthem, the Aegukga (“Love country song”) adopted in 1948, may have been originally written in the late 19th century. There were earlier anthems, including one sung to the tune of the Scottish melody “Auld Lang Syne” and another composed by the German bandmaster Franz Eckert. An is credited with drawing on traditional musical forms for the current version.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea, by Andrew C. Nahm and James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).