Date of Award
Music Performance - Vocal Performance
Schwob School of Music
In the more recent past, nationalism, or a pride in one's country, has been the dominating factor for much of the world's historical events. Wars have been propagandized, countries have been fundamentally built, destroyed and reinvigorated, and for better or worse, this principle influences one's beliefs today as one's knowledge of the world expands in conjunction with technology. Folk music has always been a form of national pride and has been used as an exploit for the reasons listed above; therefore composers have maintained an interest in a national sound. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, composers began to use the music of their homeland and integrate the melodies of their countries into the classical format. This allowed the composer to explore new compositional styles and achieve a sentimental connection with a broader audience. In a new musical world that defined the composer as a "starving artist," unique and enjoyable music was crucial to success. Folk music was not used as the epitome of a composer's sound, rather as a foundation for new compositional ideas. The walls of harmonic and melodic rules were disintegrating, giving the composer a greater spectrum of options as to how folk melodies could potentially be set. The eclectic settings of folk music, including the settings of Percy Grainger, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Roger Quilter, Aaron Copland and Benjamin Britten, assisted in creating new national identities in the world of classical music during the twentieth century, especially in the young United States and the long-established England. This was the birth, or in the case of England, rebirth, of sounds that could be labeled as distinctly "American" or "English."
Krug, Tyler, "Folk Influences of Aaron Copland and Britten" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 130.