Choral Societies and Nationalism in Europe


This wide-ranging contribution to the study of nationalism and the social history of music examines the relationship between choral societies and national mobilization in the nineteenth century. From Norway to the Basque country and from Wales to Bulgaria, this pioneering study explores and compares the ways choral societies influenced and reflected the development of national awareness under differing political and social circumstances. By the second half of the nineteenth century, organized communal singing became a primary leisure activity that attracted all layers of society. Though strongly patriotic in tone, choral societies borrowed from each other and relied heavily on prominent German or French models. This volume is the first to address both the national and transnational significance of choral singing.

Contributors are: Carmen De Las Cuevas Hevia, Jan Dewilde, Tomáš Kavka, Anne Jorunn Kydland, Krisztina Lajosi, Joep Leerssen, Sophie-Anne Leterrier, Jane Mallinson, Tatjana Marković, Fiona M. Palmer, Karel Šima, Andreas Stynen, Dominique Vidaud, Ivanka Vlaeva, Jozef Vos, Gareth Williams, Hana Zimmerhaklová.
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Biographical Note

Krisztina Lajosi is Assistant Professor in the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where her Ph.D. in cultural history examined the role of operas in nation-building movements in East-Central Europe. She is the coordinator of a research project supported by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences exploring the transnational ramifications of European national styles in music.

Andreas Stynen is a researcher at the Antwerp-based ADVN – the Archives and Documentation Center for Flemish Nationalism. He obtained a Ph.D. in history from Leuven University with a study of nineteenth-century visions of nature and cities. His publications include titles on the collective memory of national movements, trans-Atlantic migration, and popular music. He is also editorial secretary of Studies on National Movements, online journal of NISE (National movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe)

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ... vii
Notes on Contributors ... viii

Introduction ... 1
Krisztina Lajosi and Andreas Stynen

1 German Influences: Choirs, Repertoires, Nationalities ... 14
Joep Leerssen

2 Choral Societies and Nationalist Mobilization in Nineteenth-Century France ... 33
Sophie-Anne Leterrier

3 Song in the Service of Politics and the Building of Norway ... 53
Anne Jorunn Kydland

4 Choral Societies and Nationalist Mobilization in the Nineteenth Century: A Scottish Perspective ... 70
Jane Mallinson

5 Fighting Choirs: Choral Singing and the Emergence of a Welsh National Tradition, 1860–1914 ... 83
Gareth Williams

6 The Large-Scale Oratorio Chorus in Nineteenth-Century England: Choral Power and the Role of Handel’s Messiah ... 99
Fiona M. Palmer

7 National Art and Local Sociability: Dutch Male Choral Societies in the Nineteenth Century ... 111
Jozef Vos

8 The Choir Scene in Flemish Belgium in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century: The Vlaemsch-Duitsch Zangverbond ... 130
Jan Dewilde

9 Choral Societies and Nationalist Mobilization in the Basque Country: The Orfeon Donostiarra ... 152
Carmen de las Cuevas Hevia

10 Choral Societies and Nationalist Mobilization in Catalonia, 1850–1930 ... 157
Dominique Vidaud

11 “By Means of Singing to the Heart, by Means of Heart to the Homeland”: Choral Societies and the Nationalist Mobilization of Czechs in the
Nineteenth Century ... 187
Karel Šima, Tomáš Kavka, and Hana Zimmerhaklová

12 Collapsing Stages and Standing Ovations: Hungarian Choral Societies and Sociability in the Nineteenth Century ... 206
Krisztina Lajosi

13 Choral Societies and National Mobilization in the Serbian (Inter)national Network ... 225
Tatjana Marković

14 Choral Societies and National Mobilization in Nineteenth-Century Bulgaria ... 241
Ivanka Vlaeva

Bibliography ... 261

Index ... 280


All interested in nationalism, choral singing, nineteenth-century cultural history, social history of music.