Converging European Musical Identities: “Unity in Diversity“

Ivana Perković

Typology: Lecture, Seminar

This course addresses to MA and PhD students


European cultural identity is often defined as “unity in diversity”, regarding a unique feature of its’ dialogic nature and combining without homogenization. The difference itself is seen as a value: not only the basis for cooperation, but a cultural feature itself (Derrida, Habermas). From a variety of divergent theoretical and practical approaches to the notion of identity (race, gender, community, nation, society, religion, psychology, education, etc.), this course will keep within limits of musical identities as a matter of culture, nation and religion. Adornian identity as the site that links a concept to its object, the “thing” refers, among other things, to frequent uses of music as one of the primary ways to create and maintain identities.

The course explores the discourse of musical identity in European area in the historical continuity – from the medieval times to the contemporary world – through a series of paradigmatic examples. Medieval musical identities are observed from the religious and linguistic standpoint, and in comparison between Western and Eastern Christianity; the position of Ottoman empire is discussed through the reception of the Ottoman world in the 18th century music, while the Beethoven’s “Ode of Joy” – a piece that had different symbolical position through the history – is explored from the angle of nationalism and its’ role as cultural symbol of Europe, that is, European anthem.

Structure of the course:

  1. Cultural and musical symbols of Europe
  2. Musical identities of the Slavia Orthodoxa
  3. Eastern and Western Christian hagiographies as a source of knowledge on musical practice
  4. European self and Ottoman other: alla turca in Mozart’s Kontretanz K 535, Die Belagerungs Belgrads (The Siege of Belgrade)
  5. “Concert of Europe” and Beethoven
  6. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and history of Western music
  7. Romantic canonization of Beethoven
  8. From “Ode to Joy” to the European anthem

Bibliography (selected):

  • Allanbrook, Wye J., Metric Gesture as a Topic in Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni”, The Musical Quarterly, 67/1, 1981, pp. 94-112.
  • Богдановић Димитрије, Историја старе српске књижевности, Београд, Српска књижевна задруга, 1980.
  • Buch, Esteban, Beethoven’s Ninth: A Political History, Chicago, University Of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • Burnham, Scott, Beethoven Hero, Princeton, 1995.
  • Conomos, Dimitri E., Byzantine Trisagia and Cheroubika of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, Thessaloniki, 1974.
  • Deniss, David B., Beethoven in German Politics, 1870-1989, New Haven & London, Yale University Press, 1996.
  • DeNora, Tia, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792-1803, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1995.
  • Head, Matthew, Orientalism, Masquerade and Mozart’s Turkish Music, London, Royal Music Association, 2000.
  • Laitin, David, Culture and National Identity: ‘The East’ and European Integration”, West European Politics, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2002, pp. 55-80.
  • Monelle Raymond, Musical Topic: Hunt, Military, and Pastoral, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2006.
  • Moran, Neil, Byzantine castrati”, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 11/2, 2002, pp. 99–112.
  • Pascal, Robert A., Beethoven’s vision of joy in the finale of the Ninth Symphony”, Beethoven forum, 2007, 14, 2, pp. 103–128.
  • Perković, Ivana, Battle in the Ballroom? Expressive Genres in Mozart’s Contredance La Battaille K535”, Beograd, 7th Annual Conference of the Department of Music Theory, Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, 2009, pp. 16-17.
  • Perković, Ivana, References in Serbian hagiography (žitija) and liturgical poetry (Srbljak)”, in: Robert Klugseder, James Borders, Christelle Cazaux-Kowalski, Lori Kruckenberg, Frank Lawrence, Jeremy Llewellyn, Christian Troelsgard, Anna Vildera and Hanna Zuhlke (Eds.), Cantus planus, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Kommission für Musikforschung, Wien, 2012, pp. 316–320.
  • Perković, Ivana, Стара музика, Историја српске музике. Српска музика и европско музичко наслеђе, Београд, Завод за уџбенике, 2007, pp. 29-62.
  • Ratner, Leonard, Classic Music. Expression, Form, and Style, New York, Schrimer Books, 1980.
  • Roider, Karl A., Kaunitz, Joseph II and the Turkish War”, The Slavonic and East European Review, 54/4, 1976, pp. 538-556.
  • Sanders, Ernest H., “The Sonata-Form Finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony”, 19th-Century Music, Vol. 22, No. 1, 1998, pp. 54-60.
  • Shelly, M., Winck, M. (Eds.), Aspects of European Cultural Diversity, London, 1995.
  • Shore, Cris, Building Europe: The Cultural Politics of European Integration, New York, Routledge, 2000.
  • Treitler, Leo, “History, Criticism, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony”, 19th-Century Music, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1980, pp. 193-210.
  • Tusa, Michael C., “Noch einmal: Form and Content in the Finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony”, Beethoven Forum, Vol. 7, Issue 1, 1999, pp. 113–137.
  • Velimirović, Miloš, Byzantine elements in early Slavic chant: the Hirmologion (main volume), Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae. Subsidia. Studies on the Fragmenta Chilandarica Paleoslavica, I, Copenhagen, 1960.
  • Will, Richard, The Characteristic Symphony in the Age of Haydn and Beethoven, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Wellesz, Egon, Eastern Elements in Western Chant, Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae. Oxford-Boston, 1947.
  • Zielonka, Jan, Europe as Empire, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Zielonka, Jan, Europe Unbund: Enlarging and Reshaping the Boundaries of the European Union, London, Routledge, 2002.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the key dimension of the emerging power of cultural and artistic European integration;
  • identify and describe the major issues on musical identities;
  • discuss and outline the main issues such as “Europeanization” and transformative power of music.
  1st acad. year: 2nd acad. year: 3rd acad. year: Total over 3 years:
N° of hours 15 15 15 45
N° of students 40 40 40 120
Discipline of


Musicology, Music Performance
Year/type of study 2nd cycle (Masters) Doctoral studies
Nature Compulsory New