Music and Politics
Throughout its history, politics has influenced, changed, and sometimes corrupted the course of music. One only has to look at J. S. Bach to see how he charmed, amazed and yet frustrated leaders of his day. He reacted just as strongly to perceived threats, injustices and petty actions of officials in the juristictions he served. Haydn benefitted immensely from the patronage system that enabled him to produce volumes of music without having to go out and sell himself. Today, politics continues to exercise its influence over today’s musicians. This week’s discussion assignment is for you to find and write about a musician and how politics has influenced his work. Is the music better for the political involvement? Worse? What songs or pieces are a direct reaction to some political injustice? Cite specific examples to back up your opinions. If you can reference a website or writing to assist in the effort, please do so. Please share a link for your chosen song or piece of music so that others in the class can hear it also. Be creative!
Greatest Influence
Now that you’ve read the abridged history of music, who would you consider to be the most influential composer on the development of music? Why? (5-7 sentences) The “why” part of this discussion is the most important: I need to know why you chose this composer and what factors or contributions account for your choice.
What would you consider to be the most influential musical period or phase on the current state of music? Why? (5-7 sentences) Again, the “why” is the most important part. Convince me!
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