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Nationalism in Music

Nationalism in Music. A mus. movt. which began during the 19th cent. and was marked by emphasis on nat. elements in mus. such as folk-songs, folk dances, folk rhythms or on subjects for operas and symphonic poems which reflected nat. life or history. It burgeoned alongside political movements for independence, such as those which occurred in 1848, and as a reaction to the dominance of Ger. mus. Haydn was an early ‘nationalist’ in his use of folk-song in many works. Chopin, by his use of Polish dance rhythms and forms, e.g. the mazurka and the Krakowiak, was a nationalist and wrote a Fantasia on Polish Airs in 1828. In Russ., Glinka's A Life for the Tsar (1836) began the nationalist movement, which was sustained by Cui, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc. Liszt expressed the Hungarian spirit in his works, and this spirit was later intensified by Bartók and Kodály. Smetana, Dvořák, and Janáček were leading nationalists in Bohemia; in Norway, Grieg; Finland, Sibelius; Spain, Falla, Albéniz, and Granados; England, Holst and Vaughan Williams; USA, Copland, Gershwin, Ives, and Bernstein; Brazil, Villa-Lobos.

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