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'Political Music' - a viable category?


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Author Topic: 'Political Music' - a viable category?  (Read 4661 times)
Reiner Torheit
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« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2009, 05:12:16 am »

But I take the point about art as a non-way out of the horror. I just wonder ("apart from burning banks, trashing city institutions") what else is to be done?


I don't think we should be "disappointed" that Art fails to do this, because it hasn't (historically) been the purpose of Art to effect social or political change.  That would be a misunderstanding of its role.  Its function, if any, is as a catalyst, rather than an actual agent of change.

However, there have been one or two instances worth remembering.  The one I have in mind most clearly is the "Singing Revolution" in Estonia, where the choir at the Song Festival* opening ceremony secretly agreed to break into "Estonia, beloved country" instead of the Soviet Anthem as the opening number.  On live tv, with the Party bosses right on view, it was a devastating PR blow...  with the cameras on him, the local Party Boss spluttered for the first verse, but realised he'd been utterly outmanouevred and had the sense to join in for Verse 2.  Within just a few days Estonia had left the Soviet Union.

* the annual Song Festival is an event of huge significance, probably the biggest civic event in the country, taking place in an enormous outdoor stadium.
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