American Cultural History - What makes America great!

Well.. admittedly I've chosen a very controversial title. On my side of the pond we have a joke which goes that American Cultural History is the shortest book ever written. ;)

However, that does not mean that there is no culture from America. I would like to present something great, something which more than anything else signifies America to the world, a musical master piece written by a genius as a gift to the world of what actually makes America great:


Listen to the whole piece.

It's "The New World Symphony (4th movement)" by Dvořák (the funny r is read as the r in treasury btw). It's a piece he orchestrated as a gift to America and it's élan (spirit/zeal).

Doesn't it sound pretty much like every adventure movie score ever made? Sounds like it could be the theme of Indiana Jones or Star Wars or Jaws or just some awesome Hollywood blockbuster espousing what America is really about. The Big Bold use of brass, the flutes humming along in the background, the violins setting a sombre-yet-lighthearted mood! It's a true musicgasm! :)

Now, I wish America could live up to such music these days... Great, awesome, content rich, loud, fluid, even perhaps a bit commercia,l but proud of it. I hope that within a short time you will stop crying and wallowing-in-self-pity to Samuel Barber's "Adagio for strings" and show the world the greatness which actually is possible to achieve in the Land of the Free(tm).

Views: 71

Comment by Ed on September 17, 2011 at 8:16am

Even Rome eventually had to fall......

Comment by Arcus on October 7, 2011 at 3:12pm

Iyt sounds familar because it incorporates much of what has followed later in American music, including Native American melodies and what was concidered (at the time) Negro music. It should be noted that Dvorak is one of the most influetinal composers of the early 20th century, and that the "New World Symphony", of which this is the most famous part, was gifted to America as gratitude.

Like most of the best coming out of America, it was produced by an immigrant. In my opinion, America has moved away from from being the birthplace of creativity otherwise suppressed or malnourished and become a nationalist state, with all the unfortunate trappings that entails. 

For your amusement, if you enjoy classical music, here's the unofficial anthem of the Soviet Union:


And the official anthem of the European Union:


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