Focus: Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe

2nd Edition

By Philip V. Bohlman

© 2008 – Routledge

320 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415960649
pub: 2010-09-03
US Dollars$61.95
Hardback: 9780415960632
pub: 2010-09-03
US Dollars$145.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Two decades after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and one decade into the twenty-first century, European music remains one of the most powerful forces for shaping nationalism. Using intensive fieldwork throughout Europe -- from participation in alpine foot pilgrimages to studies of the grandest music spectacle anywhere in the world, the Eurovision Song Contest -- Philip V. Bohlman reveals the ways in which music and nationalism intersect in the shaping of the New Europe.

Focus: Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe begins with the emergence of the European nation-state in the Middle Ages and extends across long periods during which Europe’s nations used music to compete for land and language, and to expand the colonial reach of Europe to the entire world. Bohlman contrasts the "national" and the "nationalist" in music, examining the ways in which their impact on society can be positive and negative -- beneficial for European cultural policy and dangerous in times when many European borders are more fragile than ever. The New Europe of the twenty-first century is more varied, more complex, and more politically volatile than ever, and its music resonates fully with these transformations.


"There is much here for students of history and political science and still more for music undergraduates. Bohlman's bridging of history and ethnography provides a model that we can only hope to see emulated." - Brian C. Thompson, Fontes artis musicae

Table of Contents

1. Music and Nationalism: Why Do We Love to Hate Them? 2. The European Nation-State in History 3. National Music 4. Nationalist Music 5. In the Belly of the Beast: Music and Nation in Central Europe 6. Europeans without Nations: Music at and beyond the Borders of the Nation-State 7. Europeans of Many Nations: Music beyond the Borders of the Nation-State 8. The New Europeanness: New Musics and New Nationalisms

About the Author

Philip V. Bohlman is the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities and of Music, and Honorarprofessor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover, Germany. Among the awards for his wide-ranging publications are the Edward Dent Medal of the Royal Music Association, the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, the Donald Tovey Memorial Prize of Oxford University, and the Derek Allen Prize for Musicology (for the first edition of Focus: Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe) from the British Academy, to which he was elected as a Corresponding Fellow in 2007.

About the Series

Focus on World Music Series

The Focus on World Music Series is designed specifically for area courses in world music and ethnomusicology. Written by the top ethnomusicologists in their field, the Focus books balance sound pedagogy with exemplary scholarship. Each book provides a telescopic view of the musics and cultures addressed, giving the reader a general introduction on the music and culture of the area and then zooming in on different musical styles with in-depth case studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology