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DHUM 1330A - Anthems, Scandals and Wars. Music, Sound and Politics from the 19th Century to the Iraq War.

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

This course aims to analyse those moments in history when music leaves its own specific sphere and enters the social and the political. Those moments when music creates debate, and can even influence the course of history. Starting with musical nationalisms and State-Music in the 19th Century, it will cover the 20th century and the emergence of musical avant-gardes, popular music and jazz; music during WWI and WWII; and finally, the post 1945 period: 1960s pop culture, music as means of protest and music during contemporary wars. It will look at specific musical works in their context, analysing how music was produced, consumed and used, but also broadening the scope to sound: how did people listen and what were they listening to? The course will unfold chronologically, through three recurring themes: 1) music that is directly connected to the State or the political power in question, which will include questions of music and diplomacy; 2) musical works or particular concerts that became scandals (such as Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps in its 1913 Paris premiere, and Serge Gainsbourg's reggae cover of the French national anthem in 1979); 3) music and sound during times of conflict, from WWI to Iraq, dealing with questions of sound, trauma and violence. The course will introduce basic notions of musical language and musical social history so that students from different backgrounds can follow the classes, and have a methodology to develop their own critical thinking.


NIGRO GIUNTA, Violeta (Doctorante)

Course validation

The final grade will be based on: the quality of oral presentations (exposé) and weekly-questions (50%); a final research paper (50%).

Required reading

Each class will have one assigned reading as well as a list of suggested readings (for a complete bibliography, see online syllabus)

Additional required reading

  • The complete list of readings (which will all be available on the GoogelDrive platform for this course) and sessions, is as follows:
  • Session 1 : Music and Nation I - National Anthems and Musical Nationalisms : Philip. V. Bohlman, “Music before the nation, music after nationalism”, Musicology Australia 31-1, 2009, pp. 79-100
  • Session 2 : Music and Nation II - Beethoven's Ninth Symphony : Esteban Buch, Beethoven's Ninth. A Political History, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2003 (Chapter 8 “The Ninth in the Era of Nationalist Movements”, pp. 157-177)
  • Session 3 : Hearing 19th Century Church Bells : Alain Corbin, “Identity, Bells, and the Nineteenth-Century French Village”, in Mark M. Smith (ed.), Hearing History. A reader, Athens, The University of Georgia Press, pp.184-204
  • Session 4 : 1913. A Tale of Two Concerts in Two Cities : Le Sacre in Paris and Konzertverein in Viena : Esteban Buch, “The Scandal at Le Sacre: Games of Distinction and Dreams of Barbarism”, in Hermann Danuser and Heidy Zimmermann (eds.), Avatar of Modernity. The Rite of Spring Reconsidered, Boosey & Hawkes, Paul Sacher Foundation, 2013, pp. 58-78
  • Session 5 : Sound and Music in WWI : Florence Gétreau (ed.), Entendre la guerre. Sons, musique et silence en 14-18, Gallimard-Historial de la Grande Guerre, 2014 (Laurent Véray, “Sons et musiques de la guerre au cinema”, pp. 12-23; Philippe Gumplowicz and Jean Neveu, “Le Jazz arrive en Europe”, pp. 68-75)
  • Session 6 : Sound and Music in WWII : Erik Levi, Music in the Third Reich, London, Macmillan, 1994 (Chapter 4 “Entartete Musik: The War Against Modernism”, pp. 82-123
  • Session 7 : 1960s Protest Music : Beate Kutschke and Barley Norton (eds.), Music and Protest in 1968, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014 (Sarah Hill, Chapter 3 “‘This Is My Country': American popular music and political engagement in ‘1968'”, pp. 46-63; Jan Fairley
  • Chapter 7 “‘There Is No Revolution Without Song': ‘new song' in Latin America”, pp. 119-136; Hon-Lun Yang, Chapter 13 “‘Gendering ‘1968': womanhood in model works of the People's Republic of China and movie musicals of Hong Kong”, pp. 222-236; Eric Drott, Chapter 15 “Music and May 1968 in France: practices, roles, representations”, pp. 255-272)
  • Session 8 : Aux armes et cæatera : Didier Francfort, “La Marseillaise de Serge Gainsbourg (La Marseillaise by Serge Gainsbourg)”, Vingtième Siècle. Revue d'Histoire 93 (Jan. - Mar., 2007), Sciences Po University Press, pp. 27-35
  • Session 9 : Music and 9/11 : Richard Schechner, “9/11 as Avant-Garde Art?”, in PMLA Vol. 125, No. 5, Special Topic” War (Oct., 2009), pp. 1820-1829
  • Session 10 : VexationsX8, Music and Protest during the 2001 crisis in Argentina : Robert Orledge, « Understanding Satie's ‘Vexations' », article online:, 2000 (accessed on 06-02-2016)
  • Session 11 : Music and Torture : Susanne Cusick, “‘You are in a place that is out of the world…': Music in the Detention Camps of the ‘Global War on Terror'”, in Journal of the Society for American Music 2, 2008, pp. 1-26
  • Session 12 : Music and Armed Conflicts Today - Open Debate : Martin Daughtry, Listening to War. Sound, Music, Trauma, and Survival in Wartime Iraq, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015 (Chapter 2 “Mapping Zones of Wartime (In)Audition”, pp. 76-102)

Plans de cours et bibliographies