The New York Times By Richard Taruskin

1199 WordsApr 18, 20175 Pages
Composers have been writing nationalistic works for years but not many people know that some composers are using nationalistic techniques for a completely different reason. In an article in the New York Times written by Richard Taruskin entitled “Nationalism: Colonialism in Disguise”, Taruskin explains how musicians these days are using nationalism, strong patriotic feelings toward ones’ country, as a disguise for colonialism in order to be recognized as a well-known composer such as Beethoven or Brahms. One American composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, can also be seen as somebody who uses nationalism in order to disguise his colonialist views. In this paper, I hope to prove how Gottschalk’s Bamboula is really colonialism in disguise and…show more content…
These “higher forms of art” refer to German composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms who were always considered some of the top composers to musicologists all over the world. Here, Taruskin tries to explains to the readers that Dvorak didn’t compose his New World Symphony to be a purely “American” piece; he composed it piece to promote German musical colonialism! In order to fully understand Bamboula and how Gottschalk used nationalism to disguise his colonialist views, it is important to know a little bit about Gottschalk’s history. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, 1829-1869, was an American pianist and composer born in New Orleans to a Jewish father and a French mother. He was one of the most significant 19th-century American musicians and wrote music that influenced the rise of ragtime (Grove Music dictionary). According to Burkholder, Gottschalk was the first American composer wth an international reputation (Burkholder, 2014). At age 5, Gottschalk studied piano and organ and at age 12 he went to Paris for more training. He also toured France, Switzerland, and Spain in 1845-52 and Chopin even named him “the king of pianists” when he heard Gottschalk play at one of his concerts. Gottschalk’s pieces were mainly based off of tunes and rhythms from his mother’s Caribbean heritage. This was probably the case because
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