Two decades after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and one decade into the twenty-first century, European music remains one of the most powerful forces for shaping nationalism. Using intensive fieldwork throughout Europe -- from participation in alpine foot pilgrimages to studies of the grandest music spectacle anywhere in the world, the Eurovision Song Contest -- Philip V. Bohlman reveals the ways in which music and nationalism intersect in the shaping of the New Europe.
Focus: Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe begins with the emergence of the European nation-state in the Middle Ages and extends across long periods during which Europe’s nations used music to compete for land and language, and to expand the colonial reach of Europe to the entire world. Bohlman contrasts the "national" and the "nationalist" in music, examining the ways in which their impact on society can be positive and negative -- beneficial for European cultural policy and dangerous in times when many European borders are more fragile than ever. The New Europe of the twenty-first century is more varied, more complex, and more politically volatile than ever, and its music resonates fully with these transformations.