Chapter

Of Kings and Divas

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249776.003.0032
Of Kings and Divas

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This chapter discusses the interventions of politics in music and the development of court operas in France, Italy, and Russia through history. It begins by presenting the views of U.S. Representative Henry Hyde and composer Ned Rorem on interventions of American politics in the affairs of arts and censorship. Rorem and Hyde, both had stated that there is, or should be, no relationship between art and politics. However, Hyde wished to justify censorship, in the form of the Helms Amendment that hobbled the National Endowment for the Arts, and Rorem wished to counter censorship. The chapter furthermore considers how opera has remained the political art, since its invention court opera in the sixteenth century by noblemen to present day commercial operas. A film by Alain Corneau titled Tous les matins du monde, which is based on a novel by Pascal Quignard, depicts some popular musical attitudes of the present day. The plot of the film is based on the relationship between Marin Marais (1656–1728), probably the greatest of the French gambists at the peak of his instrument's and Marais's teacher, Jean de Sainte-Colombe (d. ca. 1701).

Keywords: Ned Rorem; Henry Hyde; censorship; Helms Amendment; Tous les matins du monde; court opera

Chapter.  11733 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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