Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education

Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education

David Hebert

Language: English

Pages: 202

ISBN: 113826878X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Music has long served as an emblem of national identity in educational systems throughout the world. Patriotic songs are commonly considered healthy and essential ingredients of the school curriculum nurturing the respect, loyalty and "good citizenship" of students. But to what extent have music educators critically examined the potential benefits and costs of nationalism? Globalization in the contemporary world has revolutionized the nature of international relationships, such that patriotism may merit rethinking as an objective for music education. The fields of "peace studies" and "education for international understanding" may better reflect current values shared by the profession, values that often conflict with the nationalistic impulse. This is the first book to introduce an international dialogue on this important theme; nations covered include Germany, the USA, South Africa, Australia, Finland, Taiwan, Singapore and Canada.

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the legitimacy of the Emperor’s everlasting reign and is viewed by many Japanese as an uninspiring, outdated and militaristic song (Asahi Shimbun, 2004), while the American “Star Spangled Banner” literally refers to “bombs bursting in air” and has a rarely sung verse that asserts “conquer we must, when our cause it is just, let this be our 16 Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education motto, in God is our trust.”6 In contrast, neither “Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii” nor “God Defend New

(Schapper and Mayson, 2004). Many music teachers are not provided opportunities through their training to develop a deep understanding of the relationships between systems of power and communication, including how propaganda and “public relations” strategies function on behalf of governments and corporations, or how mass media may be critically examined and arguments effectively deconstructed. This is because the liberal arts component of music education degree programs has gradually been removed

Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education a flag.9 In September 1949, the German parliament, the Bundestag, discussed a proposal to keep the “Deutschlandlied” as Germany’s national anthem because conservative politicians considered it to be a natural expression of the people’s voice and German-ness. However, the proposal was rejected. According to the new constitution, the Grundgesetz, the right to select a national anthem for Germany was supposed to be determined by the authority of the

way. Regarding music education and patriotism in Germany, this can mean that the devastating experience of the Third Reich and the misuse of music education led to a new, critical understanding of how nationalism and patriotism is supposed to be addressed in schools. This can clearly be an example for other countries, if they want to become a society of free, self-determined, and mature human beings. In Search of Patriotism and Nationalism 41 References Abraham, Lars Ulrich and Segler,

politicization of ethnicity are both essential to nationalist movements within colonial territories. For these reasons, the concept of nationalism refers to an ideology, language and sentiments, with an emphasis on the use of the symbols, ceremony, and customs of national identity to distinguish it from a territory comprising diverse ethnicities. Attempts to develop national identity are not purely historical, but continue to shape the society and culture of nations today. As Gellner suggests,

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