Committed Art: Socialist Realism / Serialism and Dodecaphony

Below are selected resources that may help in understanding Mark Carroll's article. A link to a pdf of the article is at the bottom of the page
I'd recommend reading the article and consulting this page to help with questions you may have with the article

Stravinsky's Symphony in C (1938-40): a strong example of Neo-Classicism - (a new look at classical techniques.) Listen to it

Picasso's painting Guernica. See it, read about it here.

What was The Prague Manifesto?
Mark Carroll: The Prague Manifesto, was essentially a declaration by Soviet artists and those sympathetic to the socialist realist cause, that musicians world wide should gather under the banner of some socialism and actually mend all that was wrong with music at that particular time, which was really just code for should embrace the principles of socialist realism at that particular time.
Andrew Ford: We're talking about the musical equivalent of those great big murals showing workers on tractors aren't we?
Mark Carroll: Indeed we are. And of course one of those, the musical equivalent of that was, or one of the more celebrated musical equivalents of that, was Shostakovich's 'Song of the Forests', which he composed in 1949. The subject matter of that of course deals with the glories of the Soviet Union, it deals with how great and wise and wonderful Stalin was, and the virtues of planting forests all the way through Siberia.
from an interview with Australian radio, found at

Socialist Realism: Selections from Shostakovich's Songs of the Forests: a prime example
Excerpts from
Excerpt 1: Song of the Forests Op. 81: When the War Was OverWindows or Real Player
Excerpt 2: Songs of the Forests, Op. 81: The Call Rings Throughout the LandWindows or Real Player
Excerpt 3: 3. Song of the Forests, Op. 81: Memory of the PastWindows or Real Player
Excerpt 4: Song of the Forests, Op. 81: The Pioneers Plant the ForestsWindows or Real Player
Excerpt 4: Song of the Forests, Op. 8: The Fighters of Stalingrad Forge OnwardsWindows or Real Player

Beethoven's Egmont Overture: a work appropriated for many different causes Hear it

The article

Mark Carroll, "Commitment or Abrogation? Avant-Garde Music and Jean-Paul Sartre's Idea of Committed Art" Music and Letters; Nov. 2002; 83, 4, p. 590-606

All text © Todd Tarantino 2002-2012.
Not to be reprinted without permission.