MUSI 006C. Music and the Battle Between Good and Evil
Who has the power to control music? How can music function in extreme states? Is it different than what it sounds like in periods of normalcy? This course will explore music within the context of totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Beginning with Stalin and Socialist Realist aesthetics in the Soviet Union of the late 1920s, we’ll move westward to look at the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in 1930s Germany, and then east to Mao’s Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). We will consider how these leaders attempted to impose political ideology on the contours of musical expression in their countries, and how individuals forged personal meanings for these musics. We will turn to contemporary memories (examining first person accounts, memoirs, and survivor testimonies) in order to explore moments in which individuals succeeded in subverting control. We will consider sources ranging from mass songs to epic musical theatre, marches to model revolutionary ballet, as well as propagandistic films and poster art.
Eligible for GLBL-core
Catalog chapter: Music and Dance: Music
Department website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/music
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