Modern History

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Multimedia & History

Links here to selected musical texts and sounds which illustrate themes in modern history.



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Some of the links below are to files containing words only (marked W), music only (marked M), or words and Music (marked WM). Other links are directly to music files. These are in a variety of formats:

MIDI files are basically a series of computer commands which most WWW browsers should play with ease. They are quite small and should download in a few seconds.

AU and WAV files tend to be very large, but should be playable with utilities that are already loaded with most browsers and operating systems.

RA [Real Audio] files are capable of being "streamed" over the net, although not from the server I am using on this page (that may change). There is a slight loss in quality, but a huge gain in speed. But even as downloadables, they are much smaller than AU and WAV files. You will need a Real Audio player installed to play them. It is free from from the Real Audio Website.

IMPORTANT: If you cannot play these files, or do not know how to make the programs work, DO NOT CONTACT me! Find a local computer guru to help you.

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General Back to Index
The Reformation
  • Martin Luther: Ein Feste Burg (A Might Fortress Is Our God)[At this Site] M [RA]
    The anthem of the Reformation.
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The French Revolution

  • Ça Ira [At this Site] WM [RA]
    The most popular of the revolutionary songs
  • The Marseillaise [At this Site]  WM [RA]
    French text, and two English translations.
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The American Revolution Back to Index
19th Century Nationalism and Imperialism
  • Nationalism and Music [At this Site] W
    The "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", Va Pensiero, from Verdi's opera Nabucco, 1842, and The "Triumphal March" from Verdi's opera, Aïda, 1871
  • British Imperialistic Anthems [At this Site] WM  [MIDI and RA]
    Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, God Save the Queen, The British Grenadiers, Jerusalem, and I Vow to Thee My Country
  • WEB The 65th Regiment Songbook
    Songs of the British soldiers in New Zealand.
  • Cultural Nationalism
    One of the features of the 19th century was the effort by elite ("classical") composers to research and use the traditional music of their "nations".
    • Bedrich Smetna: The Moldau, from Ma Vlast M  [MIDI [At this Site]]
    • Jean Sibelius: Finlandia M  [MIDI] [At this Site]
  • Triumphal Nationalism
  • National Anthems
    When a country acquired sovereignity, the development of the "national ideal" lead to the acquistion of uniform "national markers," such as flags and "national anthems". Those here are some of the snappier ones.
  • National Songs
    As well as national anthems, a series of songs became connected with specific countries.
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Socialism as a Culture
  • Di Shvue (The Vow) [At ANU]  W
    The song of the Bund, the dominant party among East European Jews.
  • IWW Songs [At Musicanet]  W
  • The Internationale [At this Site]  WM [MIDI/RA]
    Text in English, French, German, and Castilian [plus Billy Bragg's version] with both RA and Midi sound files of the music, and two sung versions - one a Chinese military version and another a Turkish discobeat version!
  • The Internationale   [At ANU]
    text in French and German, and with sound files of a pretty soppy Australian folk version.!  WM [AU]
  • The Red Flag [At This Site] WM [MIDI] [At this Site]
    The anthem of the British Labour Party
  • American Left Songs [At Internet Archive, from DSUSA] W. See also a guide to Left-Wing Films
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World War I Back to Index

World War II

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Urban Migration and Music

A recurrent cross-cultural phenomenon of world growth and industrialization has involved the migration of rural populations to big industrial cities. In such cities the old issues of rural life rapidly fade before the new challenges. Repeatedly musicians and entertainers in these complex new milieus have created new types of music - music which draws upon the old muscial language of the regions of origin, but fuses with urban and "pop" traditions, in order to address the new issues. Such musical innovation and fusion has not happened with every case of migration to urban areas, but it sufficiently common that it ought, perhaps, receive more scholarly attention than it has.

  • Rembetika [Athens/Greece]
    • Roza Eskenazi
    • George Dalaras
  • Fado [Lisbon/Portugal]
    • Amalia Rodriguez
  • Rai [Algeria/France]
    • (Cheb) Khaled
  • Tango [Buenas Aries/Argentina]
    • Carlos Gardel
    • Astor Piazzolla
  • Samba [Rio di Janeiro/Brazil]
  • Soukous [Kinshasa/Congo/Zaire]
  • Highlife [Ghana]
  • Tejano [Texas]
    • Selena
  • Motown [Detroit/US]
  • Rap [Bronx/US]
  • Bhangra [London/Birmingham/United Kingdom]
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Postwar Protest Songs Back to Index

Modern Europe: Unity and Division

  • The Flower of Scotland WM [MIDI/WAV] [At this Site]
    The song of modern Scottish nationalism. With words and music of other traditional Scottish national songs.

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If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1920. [In the US, all texts issued before 1923 are now in the public domain (although later editing may be copyright). Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 28 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts on this site, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts on this site are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. This site is intended for educational use. No representation is made about the copyright status of offsite links: note that for the Modern History Sourcebook, unlike the Medieval Sourcebook, many texts are offsite. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.

The Internet Modern History Sourcebook is part of the
Internet History Sourcebooks Project.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 26 January 2023 [CV]