Cultural Musicology: New Perspectives on World War II

TitleCultural Musicology: New Perspectives on World War II
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFauser, Annegret
JournalZeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History
Start Page282

The author chooses two examples drawn from the vast reservoir of wartime musical life in the U.S. in order to emphasize the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic approaches to the topic. In the first, she engages with the role of music and listening in the armed forces to show that careful attention to historical sources allows for rethinking some preconceived aspects of American cultural history. This approach overlaps methodologically to the point of fusion with potential narratives from other disciplines. The second example, however, tells a perhaps far more important story about musical politics, national identity, and performance practice when I discuss the renewed search for musical roots in American composition during these years. Yet this issue also unveils the limits of interdisciplinarity, for without technical analysis and in-depth engagement with the sonic objects themselves, the discussion remains banal. [Author]

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