Materials for the Iron Curtain

Alfred Schnittke

Next week we’ll be talking about the influence of the Soviet Union and Russia on the politics of music-making. Coincidentally, half of the readings are by scholars with local connections. For Monday, we’ll be talking about classical music and popular music behind the Iron Curtain. We’ll be reading “Music of Disruption” by USF professor Maria Cizmic from her book Performing Pain: Music and Trauma in Eastern Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). We’ll also be reading the chapter by Peter Wicke in Rockin’ The Boat.

For Thursday, we’ll be talking about what has been happening in Russia since the 1990s. We’ll be reading an article on the Russian national anthem by NCF alum J. Martin Daughtry (he wrote his thesis on Joseph Brodsky). I have also assigned an Associated Press article on Pussy Riot. (Click here for a PDF.)

I’ll update this post later today or tomorrow with some musical examples. Here is the listening for Monday. And here is the listening for Thursday.

Materials for Week 4

This is the final week of our introductory unit and the first week of unit 2: Music and Revolutions. For Monday, we will focus on warfare and conflict by reading two chapters from Steve Goodman’s Sonic Warfare and Bill Rolston’s essay about the Irish conflict in rock music. As you read these, I want you to focus on how their perspective on music’s efficacy differs from what we have read so far. Remember, every author we have covered in this unit has fundamental disagreements about how music acts in the context of resistance and social protest.

Thursday marks the beginning of our second unit on Music and Revolutions. We begin that unit with Part IV from Annabelle Sreberny- Mohammadi and Ali Mohammadi’s Small Media, Big Revolution on the Iranian Revolution. While this is the beginning of our Revolutions unit, this reading also acts as a theoretical text for how different media act in political revolutions.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the music.