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Political Music

Communication and Mobilization

by Anna Szwed-Walczak (Volume editor) Tomasz Bichta (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 252 Pages

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the editor
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Emotions in music
  • The Lublin Repertoire of Patriotic Songs During World War I
  • The Role of Patriotic and Religious Songs in the Shaping of the Peasants’ Civic and Patriotic Attitudes under the Influence of Peasant Movements (until 1939)
  • Politics in Music, Music in Politics: Reflections on the Press Discourse of National Democracy
  • “My Most Beautiful Homeland:” Rock Music Serving the Nation in the PRL (during the 1960s)
  • Political Music on the Agenda of the Polish Film Chronicle (1981–1988)
  • Music Journalists and Politics: The Case of the Polish Music Press of the 1980s and 90s
  • The Opole Voivodship: Festival of Political Songs
  • The Orle Gniazdo [Eagle’s Nest] Festival in Poland (2013–2017) as a Tool of Political Communication of the Polish National and Nationalist Movements
  • Popular Music and Polish Geopolitical Imaginations After 1989: An Overview
  • The City as a Political Phenomenon in Popular Music: The Case of the Band Maanam
  • Music in Auditory Political Communication: A Case Study
  • The Role of Music in Election Adverts during the 2015 Presidential Campaign in Poland
  • Interdisciplinary Studies in Performance

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Anna Szwed-Walczak / Tomasz Bichta (eds.)

Political Music

Communication and Mobilization

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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress.

Cover illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Ben Chaim

This publication was financially supported by Maria Curie-Skłodowska University.

ISSN 2364-3919

ISBN 978-3-631-83923-2 (Print)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-85385-6 (E-PDF)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-85386-3 (EPUB)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-85387-0 (MOBI)

DOI 10.3726/b18367

© Peter Lang GmbH

Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften

Berlin 2021

All rights reserved.

Peter Lang – Berlin ∙ Bern ∙ Bruxelles ∙ New York ∙

Oxford ∙ Warszawa ∙ Wien

All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.

This publication has been peer reviewed.

www.peterlang.com

Anna Szwed-Walczak / Tomasz Bichta (eds.)

Political Music

The volume explores the influence that music exerts on emotions and on social and electoral mobilization. Music shapes social moods, which is crucial both in times of political stabilization and crisis. As corroborated by the presented research results, music enhances group solidarity, loyalty toward the ruler and toward ideas. The authors of individual chapters argue that both in past and present contexts, a specific type of music can be distinguished, namely political or engaged music. The volume aims to address various uses of music in politics in differing political and social circumstances. For this reason, the authors of the texts included in the volume – political scientists, media scholars, sociologists and historians – analyze Polish political music in various historical periods.

The Editors

Anna Szwed-Walczak, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at the Maria Curie Skłodowska University (MCSU) in Lublin, Poland. Her research interests include political communication with focus on the Polish national movement.

Tomasz Bichta, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at the MCSU in Poland. His research interests are political parties and party systems, and politico-cultural transformations in Africa.

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

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Contents

Introduction

Magdalena Szpunar

Emotions in music

Jan Lewandowski

The Lublin Repertoire of Patriotic Songs During World War I

Alicja Wójcik

The Role of Patriotic and Religious Songs in the Shaping of the Peasants’ Civic and Patriotic Attitudes under the Influence of Peasant Movements (until 1939)

Ewa Maj

Politics in Music, Music in Politics: Reflections on the Press Discourse of National Democracy

Zbigniew Zaporowski

My Most Beautiful Homeland:” Rock Music Serving the Nation in the PRL (during the 1960s)

Łukasz Jędrzejski

Political Music on the Agenda of the Polish Film Chronicle (1981–1988)

Dariusz Baran

Music Journalists and Politics: The Case of the Polish Music Press of the 1980s and 90s

Dominik Kurek

The Opole Voivodship: Festival of Political Songs

Anna Szwed-Walczak

The Orle Gniazdo [Eagle’s Nest] Festival in Poland (2013–2017) as a Tool of Political Communication of the Polish National and Nationalist Movements

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Jarosław Macała

Popular Music and Polish Geopolitical Imaginations After 1989: An Overview

Marek Jeziński

The City as a Political Phenomenon in Popular Music: The Case of the Band Maanam

Agnieszka Łukasik-Turecka

Music in Auditory Political Communication: A Case Study

Agnieszka Kamińska

The Role of Music in Election Adverts during the 2015 Presidential Campaign in Poland

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Introduction1

Music has been used as a tool for affecting emotions and attitudes since antiquity. Fearing its improper use, Plato suggested creating a list of acceptable melodies that could be played during public occasions and in the raising of youth.2 Music shapes moods and thus can be used for propaganda purposes, for example to convince the society to support military action or to underscore the significance of the moment or the solemnity of the situation. Oliver Thomson, a scholar of propaganda, indicated that this quality stems from music’s ability to awaken group and social solidarity and loyalty.3 Music can be treated as a “cultural common,” as there are no cultures without music. For the reasons mentioned above, politicians tend to take advantage of music, and music’s significant role in politics should come as no surprise. Music has a role to play in “other systems – religious, political, media, economic, etc..”4 These qualities of music were pointed out by, among others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Johann Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Nietzsche.5

The value of music as an ideological tool was recognized by Iwona Massaka, who pointed out that music “awakens communal instinct, solidarity, enthusiasm, unanimous will.”6 In light of this, political music – its communicating and mobilizing properties and, indirectly, its contribution to social integration – is worthy of scholarly attention. British scholars Dorothy Miell, Raymond MacDonald and David J. Hargreaves noted that “music is a ←7 | 8→fundamental channel of communication: it provides a means by which people can share emotions, intentions, and meanings.”7 Music whose message pertains to politics or music used for political purposes acquires a yet another sense. Ideological content exerts a bigger impact when enhanced by music.8 Scholars have begun to more readily term such music political music. A definition of this category of music was proposed by Zbigniew Kantyka, according to whom political music “refers to the sphere of politics, serves political aims and brings about political results, playing a role in shaping communal awareness and regulating attitudes, opinions and behaviours as regards issues important for the functioning of the public sphere and for the integration of the community. When it comes to content, this music most frequently refers to state values (patriotic and national) and/or to group values (class and cultural).”9

Political music is one of “the means of social and political communication.”10 It requires engagement on the part of the recipient as it carries an intentional message. As Umberto Eco pointed out, a “gastronomic song” can be a background, while “an »other« song demands respect and interest;”11 political music can be classified as belonging to an in-between category for a number of reasons. First, the musical message of a political character requires the recipient’s attention, secondly, verbal communication and its conative character is important for it, and, finally, political music contains a melody that enhances the verbal ideological message.

This book constitutes an effect of a scholarly debate initiated by media studies and political studies scholars and continued together with sociologists and historians. The chapters included in Volume 1 study the relationship between music and politics. The authors explore the ways in which music is used by state ←8 | 9→authorities, political organizations, electoral committees but also by supporters of a given ideology and by socially and politically involved music bands themselves. Communicating through music brings about desired consequences in a specific context (situational and temporal). To properly interpret a musical piece, it is essential to know the social, political and cultural circumstances of its creation. This enables an analysis of hidden meanings (aims intended by the addresser). Individual chapters in this volume focus on the deployment of political music in Polish compositions in various historical periods: the fight for independence during the partitions and World War I (1914–1918), the period of the Second Republic of Poland (1918–1939), selected years of the Peoples’ Republic of Poland (a non-democratic system) and the Third Republic of Poland (democratic system). The authors draw attention primarily to the integrating and mobilizing function of music.

The first chapter – Magdalena Szpunar’s “Emotions in Music” – constitutes an apt introduction into the subject matter of the volume. The author concentrates on the reception of music, pointing out that its functions and wide deployment stem from its emotion-inducing character.

The authors of the three subsequent articles engage in an analysis of the mobilizing function of music. Their focus is on patriotic music based on the commonality of national experiences and accentuating selected events from the history of the state and the nation.12 Patriotic songs were profiled to account for the recipients’ social background, place of living and worldview. There were songs addressed to inhabitants of a given region and to specific social and ideological groups. Music constituted not only an expression of national character but was a part of national culture. Music had a bearing on the development of the nation and enhanced its identity, being an expression of national sentiments. Jan Lewandowski in his study “The Lublin Repertoire of Patriotic Songs During World War I” argues that music prompted the recipients to action, being a form of political manifestation, boosting social mood under the partitions and during World War I and integrating the nation for the sake of the common cause. In her chapter “The Role of Patriotic and Religious Songs in the Shaping of the Peasants’ Civic and Patriotic Attitudes under the Influence of Peasant Movements (until 1939),” Alicja Wójcik in turn notes that patriotic ←9 | 10→songs were performed in Poland alongside religious songs, which enhanced the former’s message and created pathos. Subsequently, patriotic content was added to religious songs and religious content – to patriotic songs. Music was used to raise patriotic sentiments, to construe civic and national awareness and to strengthen national solidarity. Ewa Maj in her “Politics in Music, Music in Politics: Reflections on the Press Discourse of National Democracy” draws attention to the fact that the debate on music in the discourse of National Democracy (one of the most powerful political groups of the Second Republic of Poland) testifies to the acknowledgement of the role of music and its political symbolism in the construction of the national capital.

The following two articles address the use of music to strengthen the political message in the non-democratic system of the Peoples’ Republic of Poland. The case studies indicate ways in which the authorities exerted influence on the musicians, making their artistic careers dependent on state institutions. In “ ‘My Most Beautiful Homeland:’ Rock Music Serving the Nation in the PRL (during the 1960s)” Zbigniew Zaporowski argues that the authorities attempted to persuade the musicians to address specific subject matter in their compositions. Wishing to function within the public sphere, an artist had to be subjected to legal regulations. Bands/singers promoting folk culture, praising the beauty of the fatherland and advocating social attitudes and values desirable to the authorities were cherished. Łukasz Jędrzejski in his chapter “Political Music on the Agenda of the Polish Film Chronicle (1981–1988)” indicates the benefits reaped by the artists affirming the political system of those times.

Dariusz Baran in “Music Journalists and Politics: The Case of the Polish Music Press of the 1980s and 90s” studies the extent of the politicization of music press during the final decade of the Peoples’ Republic of Poland and the first decade of the Third Republic of Poland. The author sheds light on the ways in which music press was politicized and explains why political engagement was not conducive to the development of this segment of the press market.

Dominik Kurek (“The Opole Voivodship: Festival of Political Songs”) and Anna Szwed-Walczak (“The Orle Gniazdo [Eagle’s Nest] Festival in Poland (2013–2017) as a Tool of Political Communication of the Polish National and Nationalist Movements”) both study the role of music festivals in political communication. The two chapters constitute case studies, with the analysed festivals differing in terms of the addressers and addressees of the message, their goals, scope and character. Dominik Kurek discusses the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole and the evolution of its political significance from a historical perspective. Anna Szwed-Walczak, in turn, concentrates on a festival of identitarian music, defining its major thematic categories and functions.

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The chapters by Jarosław Macała (“Popular Music and Polish Geopolitical Imaginations After 1989: An Overview”) and Marek Jeziński (“The City as a Political Phenomenon in Popular Music: The Case of the Band Maanam”) explore the involvement of popular music in the political discourse. Macała analyses geopolitical imaginations as evinced by popular songs created in Poland after 1989, emphasizing the pro-West sentiments expressed by the artists. Jeziński, in turn, discusses representations of the city in the songs of the band Maanam, concluding that the city is construed in Maanam’s songs in a two-fold way: as a space to live in and as a political idea.

The final two chapters of the volume discuss music as an element strengthening the political message. Agnieszka Łukasik-Turecka in “Music in Auditory Political Communication: A Case Study” presents the results of her research into free electoral broadcasts emitted by a regional station of the Polish Radio. Agnieszka Kamińska in her article “The Role of Music in Election Adverts during the 2015 Presidential Campaign in Poland” explains the role of music in multi-modal election advertisements. Both authors focus on the significance of music as a background for political content.

The methodology used by the authors of the chapters included in the volume is determined by the subject and character of their research. Various forms of political communication as well as individual compositions of a political character are analysed in the book. Music is presented as a tool of political communication and as a background enhancing political content.

The authors of individual chapters include media scholars, political scholars, sociologists and historians from several Polish universities. On account of its interdisciplinary character, the book is addressed to readers interested in political music, politicization of cultural life, and political and public communication in democratic and non-democratic systems. Students of social sciences are likely to find the book of particular interest.

Summary

The volume explores the influence that music exerts on emotions and on social and electoral mobilization. Music shapes social moods, which is crucial both in times of political stabilization and crisis. As corroborated by the presented research results, music enhances group solidarity, loyalty toward the ruler and toward ideas. The authors of individual chapters argue that both in past and present contexts, a specific type of music can be distinguished, namely political or engaged music. The volume aims to address various uses of music in politics in differing political and social circumstances. For this reason, the authors of the texts included in the volume – political scientists, media scholars, sociologists and historians – analyze Polish political music in various historical periods.

Biographical notes

Anna Szwed-Walczak (Volume editor) Tomasz Bichta (Volume editor)

Anna Szwed-Walczak, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at the Maria Curie Skłodowska University (MCSU) in Lublin, Poland. Her research interests include political communication with focus on the Polish national movement. Tomasz Bichta, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at the MCSU in Poland. His research interests are political parties and party systems, and politico-cultural transformations in Africa.

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