Show Less
Open access

Nationalism, Chauvinism and Racism as Reflected in European Musical Thought and in Compositions from the Interwar Period


Andrzej Tuchowski

This book concerns the ways in which many different types of nationalism, chauvinism and racism penetrated into musical thought in the interwar period, and how the leading artistic personalities of that period reacted to these ideologies. The concept of "nationalism" is understood broadly in this book and covers the entire spectrum of its positive and negative aspects. The topics listed in the book’s title have been discussed on the example of selected four countries, significant with respect to population and territory and representing different social-political systems: Germany (mostly after 1933), Italy, Poland (after 1926) and Great Britain. This selection is also representative of the main ethnic groups in Europe: Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Latin-Romance and Slavic.

Show Summary Details
Open access




I. The National and Universal Dimensions of Music in the Aesthetic Thought of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Karol Szymanowski

II. The Racist Foundations of the National-Socialist Thought on Music

1 “Was ist Deutsch in Deutscher Musik?”: Concerning the Germanic and Nordic Racial Features in German Music

2 ‘Judentum in Musik’ – Around the Musical Activity of the ‘Anti-Race’

2.1 Organic Harmonic-Tonal Unity

2.2 The Organic Unity of Formal Structures

2.3 The Organic Aesthetic-Social Unity

III. Das Volk, die Volksgemeinschaft, der Volkskomponist: The Concept of the “Community of Blood” and the Debate Concerning National-Socialist Normative Musical Aesthetics

IV. Between Thought and Action: Nazi Racial Doctrines and the Consequences of Their Implementation in the Context of the Reactions of Europe’s Music Circles in the 1930s

1 Journalism and the Music Environment in Interwar Poland: “…Far-Reaching Caution Is Recommended”

2 Protecting Elitism: Szymanowski, the Grand Polish ‘Aristocratic’ Traditions and the ‘Jewish Question’

3 The Polish “Rassenkunde”: Józef Reiss and His Research on “The Jewish Spirit in Music”

4 Zofia Lissa: The Problem of Race in Music

5 Chopin and the Question of ‘Racial Purity’

6 The Reactions of British Music Critics, the Appeasement and the British-German Policy for the Musical Cooperation of “Germanic Sister Nations”

7 The Ideological Counter-Offensive of British Great War Generation Artists – Pacifism against Racism and Chauvinism

8 1938 – The Breakthrough Year: Benjamin Britten’s and Michael Tippett’s Politically Involved Works in Relation to Events in the Third Reich

V. The Italian “National Awakening” and Historical-Imperial Nationalism. Art in the Context of the Fascist Myth of Romanità

1 Modern Art or Degenerate Art? Modernism and Its National Aspects in Fascist and Nazi Ideologies

2 The Musical Apologies of Rome in the Service of Fascist Imperial-Historical Nationalism

2.1 “Salve Roma divina!”: Hymn to Rome by Giacomo Puccini

2.2 “Tutto che al mondo è civile, grande, augusto, egli è romano ancora!” Ottorino Respighi’s Roman Trilogy and the Nationalist Musical Aesthetics of the Fascist Era

2.3 From Rimsky-Korsakov to Giannotto Bastianelli: Transformations in Respighi’s Aesthetic Stance on His Way to the “National Revival”

2.4 Prophetic Aspects: The Roman Trilogy in the National and International Context

VI. From the Myth of Romanità to Fascist Racism: Italian Musical Thought in the Face of Political-Ideological Changes in the late 1930s

VII. The “New Rome” Clashes with the “Third Greek Civilisation” – The Decline of the Myth of Romanità

VIII. Postscript: The Decline of Racism and Chauvinism, “Crypto-Nationalism” and the Demythologisation of Nationalist Concepts of Tradition after World War II

1 “Crypto-Nationalism” and “National Musicologies”

2 From Nationalism to Universalism