SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Cholong Sung

BMus (Ewha Womans Univ, Korea), MMus (Seoul National University, Korea)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Cholong Sung
Cholong Sung
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Music and Culture of the Korean Diaspora in the UK
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

The history of the Korean diaspora in Britain can be traced back to the 1950s, with an estimated 40,000 South Koreans currently residing in the UK (South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2017). In addition, many North Korean refugees have come to the UK since they were admitted as refugees in 2004, and the number is estimated to be around 700. Most of these Koreans reside in around New Malden area by forming Koreatown and maintaining their ethnic culture and practices. I explore all kind of musical activities conducted by those Koreans to understand what it means to and what influence it has on them. In relation to identity, I look into how and what kind of identity they have, how it expresses through music, and how music is utilised as means of harmonisation between North and South Koreans living in one community, and between the Koreans and their local neighbours. This research will certainly provide insight into not only the culture of the Korean communities in Britain, but also the way in which diasporic communities enrich culture of the UK.


  • International Council for Traditional Music, Music of East Asia 2018 Conference: Healing and Reconstruction through Music: North Korean Refugees in London, National Gugak Centre, Seoul, South Korea (Aug 2018)
  • Music Education and Social Inclusion Symposium: Identity Cultivation through Cultural Education: the London Korean School case study, SOAS, University of London, London, UK (Jul 2017)
  • International Council for Traditional Music 44th World Conference: Faith or Ethnicity: Musical activities of Korean immigrant churches in the UK. University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland (Jul 2017)
  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology 2017 Annual Conference: Contemporary Practice of Korean Traditional Music in the UK. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK (Apr 2017 )
  • 32nd European Seminar in Ethnomusicology Conference: Music at home, music from afar: Western and Korean music as identity makers among a diasporic community. University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy (Sep 2016)
  • Joint East Asian Studies Conference 2016: Chaos or Complexity: The Cultural Identity of North Koreans in Britain. SOAS, University of London, London, UK (Sep 2016)



  • Korean music
  • Korean diaspora
  • Multiculture