- It's about unresolved conflict expressed through white notes colliding against black notes of the pentatonic scale.
- The set successfully employs many native elements including a pentatonic scale, dotted rhythms prominent in traditional Korean music and references to folk songs.
- At the start of the symphony, the strings are tuned to the notes of the pentatonic scale, and they are tuned back to the traditional Western scale as the symphony progresses.
- In the same way Bartok used many seconds and sevenths found in monophonic Hungarian folk music, contemporary Korean composers have frequently used seconds and fourths derived from the pentatonic scale in both melody and harmony.
- Both the melody and harmony share the same pentatonic scalar basis, and the intervals of perfect fourths and major seconds derived from the pentatonic scale are frequently used both linearly and vertically in all eight variations.