Marxists, manifestos, and "musical uproar": Alan Bush, the 1948 Prague Congress, and the British Composers' Guild

Julie A. Waters

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Abstract

British composer Alan Bush, a committed Marxist, played an active role in mainstream British musical life. In 1948 he participated in the Second International Congress of Composers and Musicologists in Prague - a meeting of musicians largely from the East Bloc - and subsequently attempted, with left-wing colleagues, to promote the Prague Manifesto within the British Composers' Guild. His proposal to associate the Guild with an international association of "progressive" composers gave rise to significant turbulence within the organization, and set off British ideological battles in the arena of music during the early years of the Cold War.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-45
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Musicological Research
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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