Proof through the Night: Music and the Great War

TitleProof through the Night: Music and the Great War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWatkins, Glenn
Number of Pages598
PublisherUniversity of California Press
CityBerkeley, CA
Abstract

This book investigates the variable roles of music during World War I, with a focus on the Entente nations. It shows that each nation gave "proof through the night" ringing evidence during the dark hours of the war not only of its nationalist resolve in the singing of national airs but also of its power to recall home and hearth on distant battlefields and to reflect upon loss long after the guns had been silenced. The eloquent narrative argues that twentieth-century Modernism was not launched full force with the advent of the Great War but rather was challenged by a new set of alternatives to the prewar avant-garde. Its central focus on music as a cultural marker during the First World War of necessity exposes its relationship to the other arts, national institutions, and international politics. From wartime scores by Debussy and Stravinsky to telling retrospective works by Berg, Ravel, and Britten; from "La Marseillaise" to "The Star-Spangled Banner," from "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" to "Over There," music reflected society's profoundest doubts and aspirations. By turns it challenged or supported the legitimacy of war, chronicled misgivings in miniature and grandiose formats alike, and inevitably expressed its sorrow at the final price exacted by the Great War.

URLhttp://www.ucpress.edu/ebook.php?isbn=9780520927896
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49619116

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