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'Political Music' - a viable category?

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Author Topic: 'Political Music' - a viable category?  (Read 7319 times)
John Cummins
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2010, 05:15:08 pm »

In case any one misses it, I have posted some information about Konrad Boehmer on the "Broadcast Rarities" thread. He says that his music "reflects my Marxist political agenda," but I would like to know more about how exactly it does that. In the Grove Dictionary it is stated that "in that Boehmer's activities as a composer are inseparable from his work as an activist and theorist, he is an heir to the traditions of the Enlightenment and the avant-garde." Again, is any one in a position to explain the precise mechanism of that?

How about the points 1.a-b and 2.a-b, at least, quoted and indexed here, as a basic framework,

1. Is it meaningful to talk about such a thing as 'political music', separate from some other types?
Yes, insofar as:
a. The composer/songwriter holds a political orientation and,
a.1 purports to express it in their work or,
a.2 it is to be considered from a biographical point of view.
b A piece, tune or song not necessarily political in content or intent has been adopted as a political anthem. 

It's also valid, therefore, to talk about the political in music.   

2. If so, what would be the defining attributes of such a music?
a. That the composer says it is. 
b. That it has explicit political content--what would that be?
c. That it is made use of in a political context.   
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