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Lecture 12

MUS110H1 Lecture 12: Music and Politics

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Gregory S.Johnston

MUS110 – Nov 27 Music and Politics • Music and politics intertwined for all of recorded history o Used for political ceremonies, in battle, to glorify those with money and power, to promote ideologies of those in power… o Politics influenced what types of music were produced/performed (under aegis of church, court, government) • People who wrote the opera owned the theatre, so they display their ideas of what they want the audience to believe [general politics to advance their own message] • 19thC: most successful political force: Nationalism o Herder: cultural nationalism o Political nationalism: nation states • Creation of music history, started in 19th century, Germany o Creating lineages of composers, and setting style of these composers • 1860s – trying to create a sense of indigenous culture and look into their own folklore • Creation of shared histories • Creation of common cultural language • Creation of recognizably local styles • Nationalistic Art Music: Ironies of Musical Nationalism o Composer intent vs. reception: ▪ Composer ▪ Creating self-consciously nationalism music ▪ Writing songs in your own language ▪ Using stories, folklore, history for operas • After 1960s France was to create more dramatic music, they want to show they have more dramatic music than Germans • French composers looked back to their own history of their own music, and looked for clarity in their music • This led to neo-classism th th o Using harmonies and techniques of 20 century but stylistic melodic traits of the 18 century • Reception o A lot to do with nationalism o The uses of music o Varity: No evidence that Varity meant to use operas in political way, didn’t have to do with political activities at the time o People who heard them thought they were political messages and used them • Russian Music o Was European (French ballet, German symphonic, Italian opera) o Mighty 5: interest in fostering “Russian” music Borodin, Cui, Rimsky, Balakirev, Mosorgski • All imported European culture • European nationalist influencing Russian art composers, which makes Russian want to make their own Russian music that represents their Russian community o Took a very modern, technical language, and look into Russian folklore o Whole tone scales coming out of a Russian sound, brought into art music o Helps defines French music from Germany • Listens to: Korsakov • Musorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) o CD 5: 1: meant to recall Russian folk song o Drew on Russian folk music, try to convey imagery of Russian art o Based on Hartman a Russian painter ▪ Very tonal, but very parallel ▪ Irregular ▪ The result of Russian scale were whole tone and semi-tone o CD 5: 2 (Gnomua) ▪ Russian Nutcracker ▪ Irregular rhythms, use of 5/4 and dissonance that are non-European o CD 5: 4 ( Great Gate at Kiev) ▪ Uses two actual Russian melodies ▪ Grandiose image of Russian the Great • Czech Nationalism o Nationalism with Compositional Intent • Smetana (1824 -1884) o Native language: German o 1848 Prague revolt: Smetana patriotic marches and anthems o 1856: Smetana emigrated to Sweden: Swedish music 1852: Returned to Prague. Won competition for a Czech opera: became “Czech” ▪ Became directed for the new opera house ▪ Opened Czech national school ▪ Very local music ▪ Ma Vlast (My Fatherland) 1872-79 ▪ Cycle of 6 Symphonic Poems ▪ Each poem depicts an aspect of the countryside, history, or myths of Bohemia ▪ #2 The Moldau (1879) ▪ River that runs through Bohemia to Prague • Dvorak (1841-1904) o Dvorak’s “Czech” music st ▪ 1 beat accent, dance-like syncopations oscillation between ma
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