Effects of French Revulotion
French Revolution had huge effects on many different areas such as production, art and politics. Music is one of the areas that was hugely affected by French Revolution as well. Malcolm Boyd makes a statement in his book about French Revolution as “a revolution re-examines and re-creates its institutions, studying the 1789 period also means looking at a quickly changing pattern of musical patronage, whether state-inspired or individually organized” (Boyd, 1992). This paper will touch upon the ways that French Revolution interacted with and affected music.
French revolution and Music
First of all, it can be stated that the aim of musical activities changed with French Revolution. Malcolm Boyd takes this issue into consideration in his book and states that “The importance of this music of the French Revolution lies not so much in its intrinsic value, as in the role it plays in a great social movement, even though we agree that organized music, which had for so long served lords spiritual or temporal, now made articulate the will of the people” (Boyd, 1992). Here, in this context, ‘people’ stands for the French citizens and the quotation claims that French revolution stopped serving the lords or aristocrats and started to serve the citizens living in France and this is one of the major changes in the area of music that was caused by French Revolution.
The change from serving to lords to serving to people also means a change in cencorship in art. This issue has been a very important issue in all around the world since antique times. James Livesey underlines this situation by stating “François was effectively saving the independence of artists from themselves. A Commitment by the state to guarantee the support of artists might give them security, but a republic that bought works rather than bought men was the best guarantee of artistic liberty” (Livesey, 2001). In that case, it can easily be stated that art was censored with political reasons and the political censorship on art changed the content of art a lot. James Livesey continues his statements on this issue as “The freedom of artists had to be respected and protected by the republic. The free artist would then become the model republican, his creativity the model for emulation by the industrious citizen, his free writing and speaking the model for libery” (Livesey, 2001). Thus, as a result, it can be stated that freedom in the areas of art, and so music, increased with French Revolution.
French Revolution and French Music
When the effects of French revolution on music are being analyzed, it is mostly thought within the context of French music but French revolution had some influences on music of other nations such as Britain. Paul F. Rice claims in his book that British Music was affected by French Revolution and he states the reason for this effect as “The fact that Britain was socially and politically divided throughout most of the century encouraged a growing paranoia about the influence of French culture on the traditional leaders of Britain” (Rice, 2010). The writer states that British music got affected by French music and he makes the statement that says “During the eighteenth century, the nature of cultural relations between France and England undertook a complete about-face. During the late years of the seventeenth century, French fashions and musical traditions were much respected in Britain” (Rice, 2010). Thus, from the book of Paul F. Rice, we see that there was a relationship between Britain and France during late 17th century and 18th century in terms of culture and art and the effect of French music on British music increased with French revolution.
To conclude, music was one of the several areas that got affected by French Revolution. Music was affected by French Revolution in different ways which are firstly the aim of creating musical pieces changed from Lords to the public, secondly freedom of music, and art in general, increased and lastly the effect of French music on the music of Britain increased.
Boyd, M., 1992. Introduction. %1 içindeMusic and the French Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 2.
Livesey, J., 2001. Making Democracy in the French Revolution. basım yeri bilinmiyor:Harvard University Press.
Rice, P. F., 2010. British Music and the French Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.