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Art music activism : aesthetics and politics in 1930s New York City

Art music activism : aesthetics and politics in 1930s New York City / Maria Cristina Fava.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2024]
Physical Description
x, 218 pages : illustrations, music ; 24 cm.
"Maria Cristina Fava explores the rich creative milieu shaped by artists dedicated to using music and theater to advance the promotion, circulation, and acceptance of leftist ideas in 1930s New York City. Despite tensions between aesthetic and pragmatic goals, the people and groups produced works at the center of the decade's sociopolitical and cultural life. Fava looks at the Composers' Collective of New York and its work on protest songs before turning to the blend of experimentation and vernacular idioms that shaped the political use of music within the American Worker's Theater Movement. Fava then reveals how composers and theater practitioners from these two groups achieved prominence within endeavors promoted by the Works Project Administration. In addition, Fava teases out fascinating details from performances and offstage activity attached to works by composers like Lan Adomian, Marc Blitzstein, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Earl Robinson, and Elie Siegmeister. Endeavors encouraged avant-garde experimentation while nurturing innovations friendly to modernist approaches and an interest in non-western music. Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock offered a memorable example that found popular success, but while the piece achieved its goals, it became so wrapped up in myths surrounding workers' theater that critics overlooked Blitzstein's musical ingenuity. Provocative and original, Art Music Activism considers how innovative classical composers of the 1930s balanced creative aims with experimentation, accessible content, and a sociopolitical message to create socially meaningful works"-- Provided by publisher.
Other formats
Online version: Fava, Maria Cristina, 1960- Art music activism Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2024
Added to Catalog
March 12, 2024
Music in American life.
Music in American life
Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-209) and index.
Bourgeois modernism for the proletariat : the Composers' Collective
The Workers' Theater Movement and the politicization of the musical revue
Keeping politics at bay : Composers' Forum Laboratory
The living newspaper unit and innovative musical approaches
A leftist myth : Marc Blitzstein's The cradle will rock.

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