Keeping the Straight Line Intact?

Philip Brett

in Music and Sexuality in Britten

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246096
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939127 | DOI:
Keeping the Straight Line Intact?

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This chapter seeks to identify the relation of folk music to nationalism, and specifically in relation to Britten's association with folksongs. It is important to ponder as wide a context as possible before taking a look at any single composer's attachment to or use of folk material in order to counter a modern tendency to view the entire phenomenon as noxious. Investigation reveals that, at a time of increased ethnocenticity, there emerges a tendency to harness national identity through music. Folklore, proven to be capable of subjectively inferring meanings and supporting ideologies on multiple plains, has inspired the creative instincts of a lot of composers. Britten's following of the pastoral composers in arranging folksongs, while rejecting their aesthetic gamut, disrupts linearity in terms of folk musical ideology in the British musical circle. This has inspired the efforts of many a research project in this field.

Keywords: nationalism; folk material; folklore; ethnocentricity; pastoral composers; national identity

Chapter.  6312 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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