The New Orleans composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, who wrote the first examples of world music and classical fusion by incorporating habaneras and Haitian rhythms into his classical pieces.
European musical nationalism, as defined by Igor Stravinsky and Nadia Boulanger, which influenced composers from the Americas by urging them to seek inspiration for their classical compositions in the musical traditions of their homelands.
Contemporary trends in classical music, one of which is represented by musicians and composers trained in he classical tradition and thoroughly versed in the folk and traditional musical heritages of their homelands, which they continue to incorporate into their concert pieces.
The prosperity of the French colony
of Saint Domingue supported an educated upper middle class that
integrated numerous wealthy mulatos. While most of these embraced
the European musical tradition (like their counterpart from
Guadaloupe, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint Georges, the
black Mozart), they were nevertheless receptive to the Creolized
dance forms, such as the contredanse, that had developed in
the island. Though we have already explored the dance hall derivations
of the contredanse in Module Two, we need to explore the development
of Afro-Caribbean influences on classical music beginning in
the middle of the ninenteenth cenury, peaking in the 1920's,
and continuing until today.
1: Musical Melting Pot Nineteenth century New Orleans, one of the most multicultural
cities of its time, abounded with sporting houses and venues
where music from diverse ethnic and cultural traditions played
side by side and often fused. Raised in the midst of this
cultural melting pot, the New Orleans composer Louis Moreau
Gottschalk later became a pioneer of global music and the
darling of the French intelligentsia, always looking for innovation.
Similarly, the Brazilian opera composer Carlos Gomes, the
first American to be hailed by the Milan public, incorporated
elements from the AfroBrazilian tradition in operas such as
"O Escravo" ("The Slave"). Describe the
popular elements that are incorporated into the selections
Nationalism Revisited While nineteenth century European nationalism attempted
to revive the classical tradition by incorporating the "Volkgeist"
or spirit of the people into national compositions, twentieth
century musical nationalism from the two Americas had a more
distinct and pressing goal: to define national and cultural
identity as separate from that of the former colonial powers.
Find out how Nadia Boulanger's teachings influenced the development
of her students.
The rigid demarcation between classical and popular music
has been blurred by classically trained musicians like Wynton
Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Paquito D'Rivera and Chucho Valdés,
who are equally comfortable with both classical and popular
traditions, and by chamber groups like the Camerata America
and the Carpentier Quartet, both of which specialize in classical
repertoires incorporating indigenous traditions. Describe
how the works of William Bolcom and Awilda Villarini incorporate
popular forms like ragtime and bomba into traditional chamber
Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was arguably the first
composer of global music. Born in New Orleans in 1829 of Haitian
ancestry, he was exposed from an early age to the rich Caribbean
and Creole cultures that thrived in this cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic
city. It is said that his grandmother and his nurse Sally--both
born in Saint Domingue--sang to him the native tunes that
he soon learned in the piano and that later resurfaced in
his unique compositions.
Boulanger (1887-1979). Perhaps the most influential
teacher of classical composition in the twentieth century, composer
and conductor Nadia Boulanger taught composition to Roldán,
Caturla, Copland, Phillip Glass, Elliott Carter, Virgil Thomson,
Quincy Jones, Carlos Chávez, Astor Piazzolla and a host
of other composers from both Americas. An important force in
nationalism, she urged her students to search for inspiration
in their national traditions.
Villa-Lobos (1881-1959). Considered the most important
Brazilian composer of the twentieth century and one of the most
notable Latin American composers, Villa-Lobos extended to Brazilian
music the nationalist ideas that had propelled Stravinsky, Copland,
Gershwin, Roldán and Caturla in their respective musical
milieus. Villa-Lobos found inspiration for his music in the
carioca tradition, including the choro, the carnival samba and
the ballroom samba of the twenties and thirties.