MUS 112(S) Music and Nationalism

It may stand to reason that cultural expression bears traces of the nations in which it was produced. In the case of music, that connection has either been politicized or, conversely, downplayed-as critics and philosophers tried to locate music solely within a sublime, otherworldly realm. This course will investigate the historical, political, and aesthetic connections between music and the nations in which it has sounded. We will focus on the canon of European art music in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Topics will include instrumental music and ideals of German "seriousness" and organicism; religious music and nationalism; Wagner and anti-Semitism; the operas of Italian and Russian nationalism; Bartok and folk music; and the careers of composers such as Liszt and Stravinsky, whose lives and musical contributions bridge multiple nationalist projects. Our discussions will come to grips with several thorny issues: Do national musical styles exist? If so, are they also nationalist? Is musical nationalism simply an issue of reception? intention? Is all nationalism alike? What are the politics of depicting nationality in music? Format: lecture/discussion. Evaluation is based on class participation, short writing assignments, and a final paper. No prerequisites. No enrollment limit (expected: 15).