When the RPO performs Shostakovich's fifth symphony later this month, they will be performing one of the legendary examples of music as political speech. Stalin thought it was a tribute to his regime; almost certainly, however, Shostakovich had threaded a musical needle and was signaling his solidarity to a suffering public.
That got us thinking: what are some other examples of music as political speech? It spans genres, and it's not always as effective as the creator of the music hopes. Finally, we discuss whether music can move the public, or if music is more effective at simply reflecting the public's mood. Our guests:
- John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester
- Lisa Jakelski, associate professor of musicology at the Eastman School of Music
- Terry Smith, head of the Harley School's Lower School
- Mona Seghatoleslami, host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5