Music论文模板 – The Influence of Folk Music on National Identity: A Comparative Analysis of Vaughan Williams and Bartók

Abstract

This essay investigates the influence of folk music on the construction of national identity in the compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók. By examining how both composers integrated folk motifs into their work, the essay evaluates the role of folk music as a cultural symbol and its impact on shaping the musical language of the early 20th century. Drawing upon primary sources, including musical scores and letters, alongside secondary literature on nationalism and musicology, this comparative analysis seeks to understand the composers’ motivations and the reception of their work in the context of national identity.

Introduction

The early 20th century saw a resurgence of interest in folk music, coinciding with a period of strong nationalistic currents in Europe. Composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams in England and Béla Bartók in Hungary harnessed folk traditions to create a distinctive national music style. This essay compares their approaches to folk music and its implications for national identity within their respective cultural contexts.

Literature Review

The Role of Folk Music in Nationalism

Exploration of the relationship between folk music and nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries (Bohlman, 1988).

Vaughan Williams and English Musical Identity

Analysis of Vaughan Williams’s use of folk song and its impact on English music (Frogley, 1996).

Bartók’s Ethnomusicological Legacy

Examination of Bartók’s fieldwork, collection of folk music, and its influence on his compositions (Gillies, 1993).


Theoretical Framework

The essay draws from theories of nationalism and cultural identity in musicology, as well as ethnomusicology, to frame the analysis of folk music’s role in national identity.

Methodology

A comparative study of selected works by Vaughan Williams and Bartók, incorporating both music analysis and historical contextualization.

Case Studies

Vaughan Williams’s ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’

An analysis of how Vaughan Williams uses an English hymn tune to evoke national identity.

Bartók’s ‘Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta’

Examination of the incorporation of Hungarian folk elements and their function in expressing national identity.

Discussion

A critical comparison of Vaughan Williams’s and Bartók’s different approaches to folk music and their respective visions of national identity.

Conclusion

The essay concludes that while both Vaughan Williams and Bartók sought to establish a national music language through folk influences, their methods and outcomes reflect diverse national contexts and personal philosophies. Their legacies continue to shape perceptions of national identity in music.

References

(Note: In an actual academic essay, this section would contain formal citations and references to academic articles, books, and other scholarly sources that have informed the essay’s content.)


This example academic essay for a Music postgraduate at a top UK university provides a framework for analyzing the influence of folk music on national identity, using the works of Vaughan Williams and Bartók as case studies. It highlights the importance of understanding the socio-cultural and historical contexts in which music is composed and received.

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