Professor Simon Mills
|Professor in the Department of Music||107, 48-49 North Bailey||+44 (0) 191 33 43152|
Simon Mills is an ethnomusicologist specialising in Korean music, music’s roles in ritual and healing contexts, systems of musical representation (terminology and notation systems), musical analysis (especially of rhythm), performance theory, and musical instruments and their classification. His main area of expertise is Korean shaman music, which he has researched extensively in the field, working with both charismatic and non-charismatic ritualists. South Korea’s East Coast hereditary shamans are the topic of his book Healing Rhythms (Ashgate 2007).
Other publications by Dr. Mills include various articles about Korean shaman ritual music, several articles exploring other facets of Korean music (in particular, techno-culture and globalisation), and two edited volumes (for the journals Musike and Mortality). He is currently active as a member of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, and regularly presents papers at their conferences. In 2010-2011, he worked with Dr. Sunghee Park on a project studying the musical life on the remote Korean island of Ulleungdo, funded by the AKS (Academy of Korean Studies). From 2013-14, he conducted another AKS-funded project together with Dr Park, researching the formation and expression of personal style in Korean shaman music. And from 2019-2020, the two co-researchers conducted a third AKS-funded project exploring the chanting practices fostered by monks within the Chogye Buddhist sect.
As a keen adherent of the ‘bi-musicality’ approach to ethnomusicology – acquiring knowledge of another’s music through practical learning – Simon Mills has devoted much time to learning, teaching, and performing Korean music, in particular the hourglass drum (changgo), hand gong (kkwaenggwari), and end-blown bamboo flute (tanso), He is a keen member of the Durham Gamelan Group, which has performed in the Sage (Gateshead), Carlisle Cathedral, and many other venues.
- Korean traditional music (especially shaman ritual music)
- Shamanism and music's role in healing practices
- Systems of musical representation (terminology and notation)
- Musical instruments
- Transcription and analysis
- Mills, Simon R S (2007). Healing Rhythms: the World of Korea's East Coast Hereditary Shamans (including CD). London: Ashgate.
Chapter in book
- Mills, Simon & Pratt, Keith. (2019). The Durham Oriental Music Festival and Chinese Music. In Global Perspectives of Ethnomusicological Studies in the Internet Age. Hui, Yu & Wild, Stephen. Zhejiang University Press. 250-305.
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2018). Life beyond Ritual? Preserving the Shamanic Performance Arts in South Korea Today. In Music as Heritage: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Norton, Barley & Matsumoto, Naomi Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 105-128.
- Mills, Simon (2017). Music in Korean Shaman Ritual. In Eolssigu! The Sounds of Korea. Curti, Horacio Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona. 86-103.
- Mills, Simon (2014). 'Local Heroes': Re-establishing Drums and Gongs in Ulleungdo’s Musical Life. In Han’guk ŭmakhak-ŭi chip’yŏng: Hwang Chunyŏn kyosu chŏngnyŏn t’woeim kinyŏm = Musicology in Korea: A Commemorative Retirement Collection for Professor Hwang Chunyŏn. The Publishing Committee for the Commemorative Retirement Collection for Professor Hwang Chunyŏn. Seoul: Minsokwon. 419-430.
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2013). A Tune with Many Faces: European Interpretations of Arirang. In Arirang in Korean Culture and Beyond: Arirang from Diverse Perspectives. Sheen, Dae-Cheol Seongnam Academy of Korean Studies Press. 257-274.
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2012). Music in Korean Shaman Ritual. In Rediscovering Traditional Korean Performing Arts. Um, Haekyung & Lee, Hyunjoo Seoul: Korean Arts Management Service. 39-45
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2008). Tokkaekki Changdan a musical goblin in east coast shaman ritual? In Mandan Yi Hyegu Paksa Paeksu Kinyom Nonmunjip a collection of essays to commemorate the 100th Birthday of Scholar Yi Hyegu. Seoul: Minsokwon.
- (2010). Analysing East Asian Music, Musike vol. II. The Hague: Semar.
- Mills, Simon RS, van Amstel, Peter & Markovic, Aleksandra (2006). Musical Terms Worldwide: A Companion for the Musical Explorer. The Hage: Semar.
- Mills, Simon & Park, Sung-Hee (2022). Everyday Temple Chant in South Korean Chogye Sect Buddhism: An Analytical Study of the Personal Styles Cultivated by Monks. Analytical Approaches to World Music Journal 10(1): 1-68.
- Mills, Simon (2020). Memories of The Last Hwaraengi, Kim Junghee. Studies in Korean Music 67: 279-320.
- Mills, Simon (2020). "Release Hitting": An Analytical Study Commemorating the Artistry of the South Korean Shaman Musician Kim Yongt'aek. AAWM Journal 8(1): 1-47.
- Mills, Simon R.S. & Park, Sung-Hee (2017). The Musical Faces of South Korea’s East Coast Shaman Tradition: An Exploration into Personal Style Formation and Expression. Ethnomusicology Forum 26(1): 69-92.
- Mills, Simon & Pratt, Keith (2017). The Durham Oriental Music Festival and its Legacy. Asian Musicology 27: 137-178.
- Mills, Simon R.S. & Park, Sung-Hee (2013). A Mysterious Island in the Digital Age: Technology and Musical Life in Ulleungdo, South Korea. Ethnomusicology Forum 22(2): 160-187.
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2012). Music and Death: Introduction. Mortality: Promoting the interdisciplinary study 17(2): 89-91.
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2012). Sounds to soothe the soul: music and bereavement in a traditional South Korean death ritual. Mortality: Promoting the interdisciplinary study of death and dying 17(2): 145-157.
- Mills, Simon R.S. (2011). The Tale of the Three Young Brothers: an Analytical Study of Music and Communal Joy (hŭng) in Korean Folk Culture. Music Analysis: Special Issue on Music and Emotion 29(1-3): 276-305.
- Mills, Simon RS (2010). Playful Patterns of Freedom: Hand Gong Performance in Korean Shaman Ritual. Musiké International journal of ethnomusicological studies 4(II): 145-170.
- Mills, Simon RS (2012). Arirang in Europe: A Melody with Many Faces (Online essay).