Music also proves to be the means to reach the soul when creating a national identity. During the course of the museum, I read countless examples of how a country's traditional songs - or even an instrument, itself - have incited nationalism in its people and have even become national symbols of a country. Ireland in the year 1916 comes to mind; traditional music as well as literature depicting a heavily-romanticized Ireland were used to rouse nationalistic sentiments as it sought to oust England's oppressive presence in the country. The founding songs of the canon of American music "My Country 'tis of Thee," "America the Beautiful," and "the Star-Spangled Banner" were all used as a way to appeal to the soul and create a sense of pride in their singers and are still employed today to do the same.
The Museum certainly appealed to my own soul. I was struck by the richness and passion imbued in the music with each country's exhibit I visited. It is amazing how much one can learn about a people simply by listening to their music; I could hear a history, a plight, an emotion, and a character in many of the traditional songs. Music transcends oral language and breaks down cultural barriers to convey a message uninhibited by the limits of spoken words. Thus, based on my own experiences, I believe that the MIM effectively proved its thesis.
|The Gallery at a Glance|
Below is a compiled list of songs and pieces that I particularly loved. Check them out!
"Rushnyk" - traditional, Ukraine
"The Jewish Nuance" - Poland
Ma Vlast: Vlata - Czech Republic
"Danse Macabre" - Sweden
"Taimse im Chodhladh is na Duistear Me" - traditional, Ireland
Sonetto 104 del Petraca - Franz Liszt, Austria
Crumhorn Ensemble - Germany
"Die Yahman" - traditional, Armenia