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Lecture 8

MUS110H1 Lecture 8: MUS110 Lecture 8

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Patrick Nickleson

Lecture 8: Music and Politics/Protest Term Assignment • Newspaper articles for assignment o NYT, Rolling Stones • You can cite Wallace “Music is partisan; it is always for someone or against someone else”. “What’s political music? All music is political, right?” • That music can be political is quite often clear in text or imagery… Pete Seeger • “A lullaby is a propaganda song, in the opinion of the three-year-old who doesn’t want to be put to sleep”. • When you don’t like the politics of something, it’s propaganda. When you do, it’s art. “Which side are you on?” • Written in 1931 • Timbre o Raspy o Rough • Texture o Monophonic • Form o Strophic “Formation” • Beyoncé standing on top of a New Orleans Police car • Political commentary • How can WAM have political undertones? The ideology of Absolute Music • Political texts are imagery are one thing…but how can purely instrumental music— absolute music—be political? • Music costs money to make—it is often a symbol of power and prestige • Even the orchestra has roots to politicized power Jean-Baptiste Lully • Wrote during Louis XIV reign • Known as the 24 violins du Roi, Lully supplemented the strings w winds and perc which he borrowed from the military • Militaristic discipline carried over; all bows had to move in the same directed • He conducted with a large staff by pounding on the floor, he died on gangrene after smashing his own foot doing this • Le Roi dance • Origins of the orchestra o Idylle sur la paix o A short piece for entertainment o A divertissement, to show off Louis’ skill as a dancer Council of Trent (1545) • Polyphony • Church music had become too decadent th th • Decadent opera halls of the 18 -19 century • Music in shopping malls Note ppt! Ideology and Absolute Music • Marx and Althusser • “A coherent set of ideas brought together not for some strictly intellectual purposes but rather, in service of some strongly held communal beliefs of values”. • How is classical music ideological when there’s no text? Eduard Hanslick: On Beautiful in Music • “Music consists of succession and forms of sound, and these alone constitute the subject…it speaks nothing but sound”. • Argued for the separation of music from everyday life following the revolutions of 1848 Plato’s Republic • “changing to a new form of music” threatens the whole system The music itself—absolute music—is an ideology. • Role of literature is private • Art is small gat
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