This team works to make Korean art song (가곡) more accessible to English speakers. We have collected a large number of Korean composed song scores and are in the process of creating English translations, phoneticizations, spoken recordings of these song texts, and organizing these materials into an accessible database.
My goal is to make Korean art song more accessible to English speakers by developing translations and phonetics to aid singers and pianists in study for performance. While we continue to acquire Korean composed musical scores, we’ve amassed quite a collection already. Now we’re working to build a database about the songs’ vocal range, composer, poet, instrumentation, and if the song has an accessible recording. Using existing translations, we have built a poetic English/Korean translation dictionary. Texts need to be translated into English and historic or cultural references given footnotes with explanations. The texts need phonetics developed in the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is a common language that voice students learn. The texts need to be spoken and recorded by native speakers to create practice tracks. The team works systematically through the collection, but may also pivot at times to create materials quickly for a particular student or upcoming performance. The goal of this project is to develop materials that I can use to teach a class on Korean lyric diction and art song. I hope to eventually make our database of translations, phonetics, and spoken recordings available to the public.
**This project is currently recruiting rising juniors, seniors, and grad students to join the team in Fall 2023. To apply, please complete an application including your resume or CV and brief statement of interest explaining how you will positively impact the project no later than March 8 to be considered for an interview.**
Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:
Phonetic Transcription (2 Students)
Preferred Skills: Knowledge of Korean, preferably a knowledge of IPA (materials exist to learn)
Likely Majors/Minors: KRSTD, LING, VOICE
Korean Poetry & Culture (Translation) (2 Students)
Preferred Skills: Knowledge of Korean language, interest in poetry and translations
Likely Majors/Minors: ASIAN, ENGLISH, HISTORY, KRSTD
Music Research (1 Student)
Preferred Skills: Ability to read music to note vocal range, conducting internet searches for existing recordings
Likely Majors/Minors: MUSICOL, PIANO, SI, VOICE
Korean Speaking (2 Students)
Preferred Skills: Native or bilingual Korean fluency, comfort creating spoken recordings, ability to read western music notation is a plus
Likely Majors/Minors: ASIAN, KRSTD
Tools Engineer (3 Students)
Preferred Skills: App building experience, knowledge of Natural Language Processing and machine learning; knowledge of Korean is necessary; preferred third, fourth, or graduate level students
Likely Majors/Minors: ASIAN, CE, CS, EE, KRSTD, LING, ME, ROB, SI
Graphic Designer (1 Student)
Preferred Skills: Knowledge about and experience with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop; work on the team will be to design website scheme.
Likely Majors/Minors: ARTDES, SI
Data Management (1 Student)
Preferred Skills: Organizing and developing searchable web based databases and applications, interfacing with other databases and networked systems.
Likely Majors/Minors: DATA, SI
Faculty Project Lead
Matthew Thompson, DMA—collaborative piano, is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Michigan. There his duties include teaching courses in diction, art song, and opera workshop as well as as varied as groundbreaking and massively popular classes like “Video Game Music.” In addition to his classroom duties, Thompson serves as a vocal coach for voice students.
As a pianist, Dr. Thompson has performed with operatic celebrities like Thomas Hampson, Golden Mask winner Vince Yi, and even musical theater gurus like Tony Award winner, Gavin Creel. Equally comfortable collaborating with instrumentalists, Thompson has partnered with many outstanding SMTD Wind and Brass performer pedagogues, including Amy Porter, Nancy Ambrose King, Jeffrey Lyman, Bill Campbell, and Fritz Kaenzig. Thompson has performed on the Ann Arbor Symphony Chamber Music Series, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Series, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Vignette Series and large ensembles including the Flint Symphony and the Michigan Philharmonic. Thompson is artistic director for the Carolyn Mawby Chorale, based in Flint Michigan, which was recently featured in the Netflix original series, Flint Town. Thompson can be heard in numerous live performances online, some of which can be streamed from Thompson’s YouTube channel and the Carolyn Mawby Chorale’s YouTube channel. He can also be heard in a recently released recording with U–M alumnus and oboist, Dr. Alex Hayashi, Japonica, as well as in recording with David Ammer, trumpet, La trompette a renouvelé.
In addition to his work as a pianist, Dr. Thompson’s interests in game audio have become a major component of his teaching and research profile. In 2013, Thompson became one of the first collegiate pedagogues to use video game music as a teaching tool when he created his notorious Video Game Music class. Thompson has presented multiple times at the North American Conference on Video Game Music (NACVGM), the only scholarly conference on video game music in North America (2018: “There’s no question you’ll be popular after performing these in front of your friends!” the pedagogy and performance of piano transcriptions of video game music). In 2018, Thompson was lead organizer and host for the 5th annual NACVGM, held at U–M, and he continues to serve on the NACVGM program committee. Dr. Thompson chaired and presented for the first ever academic ludomusicology/sound studies track at GameSoundCon, historically an industry based conference, and he continues to serve on the advisory board for GSC. During the 2018–2019 school year, Thompson won a grant allowing him to create and teach the first ever collegiate studio of pianists studying video game piano transcriptions. As part of this experimental year, Thompson invited Video Game Pianist, Dr. Martin Leung, to have a residency at U–M, teaching and performing, and Thompson joined Leung for Leung’s first public performance of video game piano duets. Thompson just released a world premiere recording of For the Piano, a solo piano piece by Halo and Destiny composer, Marty O’Donnell. Thompson maintains a blog which has attracted both scholarly and industry attention at videogamemusicnerd.blogspot.com and has written proactively commissioned book reviews published in the American Journal of Play.
Thompson received masters and doctoral degrees from The University of Michigan in collaborative piano, studying with his long–time mentor, Martin Katz. His undergraduate degree, with highest honors and highest distinction, is from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thompson’s summer training included prestigious young artist programs like Song Fest, the Merola Opera Program, and Wolf Trap Opera. Summers are now typically spent teaching music to students of all levels; recently, he has been teaching at SMTD’s MPulse Solo Vocal Institute.