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6 - Music, Romanticism, and Politics

from Part II - Worlds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2021

Benedict Taylor
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

This chapter explores a range of possible intersections between music, politics, and Romanticism in France and German lands in the first half of the nineteenth century. Beginning with a discussion of early German Romantic theories of political organisation and how they influenced Romantic conceptions of art, I subsequently unpick the complicated relationship between the French Revolution and Romanticism in music, and between the politically revolutionary and the artistically revolutionary. I show the extreme adaptability of the Romantic aesthetic when it came to its political interpretation, not only through the contrast between German and French Romanticism, but also through the surprising twists and turns in the political associations of Romanticism in France over three decades. In the second section, I look at the political mobilisation of Romantic symbols in Prussian musical life to nationalist and dynastic ends, before ending with a brief consideration of politicised anti-Romanticism amongst music critics in 1848.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

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Plantinga, Leon. ‘Beethoven, Napoleon and Political Romanticism’, in Fulcher, Jane F (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the New Cultural History of Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 484500.Google Scholar
Pederson, Sanna. ‘Romantic Music Under Siege in 1848’, in Bent, Ian (ed.), Music Theory in the Age of Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 5774.Google Scholar
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